Heavyweight World Title Preview As Joshua Faces Usyk This Weekend

This weekend is one of the most incredible for sporting events of the year. Not only do we have the usual diet of top quality Premier League action, the NFL and the huge occasion that is the Ryder Cup, we also have all bar one of the major boxing heavyweight titles on the line as Champion Anthony Joshua faces challenger Oleksandr Usyk.

The bout, which will take place at Tottenham Hotspurs brand new stadium, will see Joshua’s WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO World Heavyweight titles on the line.

Fellow Brit, Tyson Fury will defend his WBA belt in a few weeks’ time in his third fight against Deontay Wilder, with the hopes of many British fight fans being that both Joshua and Fury will record wins and then sin up for a unification bout early in 2022.

However, before that Joshua faces arguably the toughest test of his career against the Ukrainian, who is unbeaten in all his 18 professional fights and who is a former undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion.

Of course, fight fans have been watching the markets on this fight as we head towards the bout, which is scheduled to take place at around 10pm on Saturday evening UK time. If you want to access the betting for this, and you have a Bet365 Games account, then don’t worry as the same log in will get you access to the bet365 Sport part of the site too.

And if you are based in the United States and are going to tune in to watch the bout, then remember, BetRivers Sportsbook has an excellent range of markets available for boxing and MMA bouts throughout the year.

Joshua V Usyk  Full CardBetStars Boxing Bets

As well as the big heavyweight fight on Saturday, there are plenty of other betting opportunities across what is a packed and very interesting card.

  • Christopher Ousley v Khasan Baysangurov (Middleweight)

Undefeated American prospect Chris “Milly” Ousley takes on the experienced Khasan Baysangurov in the opening bout of the night with bet365 rating both fighters as 5/6 to win what looks like being a very close contest.

Despite being six years younger than his American opponent, Baysangurov has fought 10 more times, winning 21 of his 22 fights, although his sole loss did come against another American in the shape of Rob Brant in February 2019 for the WBA Middleweight World title.

This looks like being a tough one to call as Baysangurov looks to have the edge in experience, but Ousley is perhaps the more explosive of the two. This isn’t easy to call but I’d back Ousley, just, to claim the win here, perhaps on points.

  • Florian Marku v Maxim Prodan (Welterweight)

The exciting Albanian prospect Florian Marku will take on another undefeated opponent in Maxim Prodan in one of the more interesting Welterweight bouts of recent times.

The eye-catching Albanian, who has plenty of fans due to his antics in the ring and his quality, will find Prodan a tough and durable opponent, who has had twice as many fights as his opponent and boxed more than double number of rounds of Marku.

Marku is a huge 1/9 favourite to win the fight, which is a something of an insult to Prodan but I do feel Marku’s extra quality will see him land the win.

  • Callum Smith v Lenin Castillo (Light Heavyweight)

After his unanimous defeat to Canelo Alvarez back in December 2020, Callum Smith returns to the ring and is the massive favourite to land his first win at Light Heavyweight against Dominican boxes Lenin Castillo.

The former 2008 Olympian has won 20 of his 24 fights, 15 by knockout but faces the Liverpudlian who is looking to kick start his career at a heavier weight after the loss to Canelo.

This should be a straightforward evening for Smith as his odds of 1/50 suggest.

  • Campbell Hatton v Sonni Martinez (Super-Featherweight)

Ricky Hatton’s son Campbell was originally set to face Izan Dura in this bout, but his opponent was changed just a day or so ago to Sonni Martinez. The bout will be Hatton’s first over six rounds and despite the change of opponent, the Mancunian is a strong 1/25 favourite to land the win.

Hatton has won all three of his previous bouts on points, and he takes on Martinez, who has won just two of his six fights so far, with a four year break from the sport between 2016 and 2020 when he returned to the ring.

Although inexperienced, the step up to six rounds won’t faze Hatton and I’m backing him to land the win here.

  • Lawrence Okolie v Dilan Prasovic (WBO Cruiserweight World Title)

Two undefeated fighters will clash with the WBO Cruiserweight world title on the line. Okolie has 16 wins from 16 bouts in his career, an impressive 13 of those by knockouts and his opponent Prasovic from Montenegro, boasts a 15-0 record with a dozen of those wins by knockout.

Okolie though looks like being a tough champion to depose at Cruiserweight and his speed, athleticism and punching power will be something that Prasovic hasn’t really faced before, despite being in two more bouts than the British belt holder.

Many have tipped Okolie to dominate the Cruiserweight division and then move up to heavyweight and the next step in that journey is a win here and that is something he should achieve very easily with odds of 1/25 on the British star to successfully defend his title.

  • Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk (WBA, WBO, IBF & IBO Heavyweight World Titles)

The big fight of the night comes in the heavyweight division as Oleksandr Usyk, fresh from aBetStars Boxing UFC Bets win over Dereck Chisora continues his bid to become a multiple-weight World Champion by challenging the holder and British favourite Anthony Joshua.

Usyk, one of the most technically gifted boxers of his generation, was a gold medalist at the 2012 games along with Joshua and in 18 professional fights remains unbeaten. He unified the belts at Cruiserweight before stepping up to the more lucrative heavyweight division.

Joshua was unbeaten until a shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019. A few months later, a slimline Joshua avenged that loss in Saudi Arabia and reclaimed the belts with a unanimous decision victory and he then defended the titles against Kubrat Pulev 12 months ago.

22 of his 24 wins have come by way of knockout while Usyk has claimed 13 of his 18 wins via knockout, although he has won just one of his last five fights, three of those against heavyweights, via knockout.

This is a huge challenge for both boxers. Usyk is rated as the fourth best active boxer, pound-for-pound, by The Ring and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. In terms of boxing ability alone, he is by far and away Joshua’s most dangerous opponent.

For Usyk the challenge will be taking on a far more accomplished heavyweight than he has faced previously who hits much harder than most and who has a big height and reach advantage.

It does seem that the longer the fight goes on, the more Usyk’s technical skills could come to dominate the fight, but Joshua will always think his power has the ability to end the fight at any moment and I think that may well be the case here.

I’m backing Joshua to win by a knockout, and the current Heavyweight Champion is 4/11 with bet365 Sport in order to land the victory.

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