Unified heavyweight champion Anthony ‘AJ’ Joshua has called on Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew 30-2-1 (20) to land his “dirty left hook” if he wants to defeat undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 15-0 (11) – a boxer he calls “perfect”.
The 31-year-old Ukrainian southpaw – who won the gold medal in the heavyweight division at the London Olympics – emerged from the inaugural World Boxing Super Series tournament with the Muhammad Ali Trophy and global recognition as the best boxer on the planet at 200-pounds.
Liverpudlian Bellew, 35, will be returning to the division after a brief stint at heavyweight where he twice defeated local rival and former titleholder David Haye by TKO. Bellew will challenge Usyk for his WBC, WBC, IBF and WBO cruiserweight titles at Manchester Arena this Saturday night.
“From a supporter’s perspective, it’s always going to be entertaining because I really like rooting for Bellew,” said Joshua 22-0 (21) to Sky Sports.
“I really want him to win, so my passion is with him, regardless. Then, from an entertaining point of view, Usyk is like a perfect boxer.
“So I hope Bellew is working on his counterpunches as well, because that’s the way to knock him out – let him tippy-tap and then explode.
“As we’ve seen Bellew can counterpunch and he’s got a dirty left hook, and if he can land that I think he’ll do well.”
Joshua admits that Usyk will be the favourite in the fight, but says that even at the top level underdogs have a shot.
“If I am honest, Usyk is the favourite, straight-talking, because he’s unbeaten and he’s done it at cruiserweight and he’s undisputed,” continued Joshua.
“But, the thing with boxing, from like middleweight up, it takes one punch. One punch can change the course of a fight and, as I was saying, Bellew’s got that in the locker.
“We all know he’s got that as well, so that’s what makes it so interesting.”