Oleksandr Usyk told Anthony Joshua showdown is a 'huge leap' as he bids to derail undisputed title fight with Tyson Fury

OLEKSANDR USYK will find Anthony Joshua too big a 'leap' to overcome when they throw down next month.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion will challenge AJ for the unified heavyweight titles on September 25 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.


Slick southpaw Usyk has been tipped by many to give Joshua one of the toughest tests of his career, but up-and-coming heavyweight Fabio Wardley reckons the Watford warrior will be too much to overcome.

He told Betfred TV's boxing show: "[Oleksandr Usyk] has not pulled off the best performances since he’s been in the heavyweight division.

"So to then jump in with someone like Joshua, it’s quite a big leap.

“Not to say that Usyk doesn’t have the experience to deal with that but just going off what we have seen, that is where I’d edge it.

“I think he’s found that adjusting period into the heavyweight slightly more difficult than he initially anticipated."

Usyk, 34, has put on a considerable amount of mass in a bid to dethrone Joshua and scupper the Brit's eagerly-anticipated showdown with Tyson Fury.

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But promoter Eddie Hearn reckons the undefeated Ukrainian is still an undersized heavyweight.

He told talkSPORT: “I think that Usyk will never be a fully-fledged heavyweight – a real heavyweight in terms of size."

The Matchroom Boxing chief, however, reckons Olympic gold medallist Usyk makes up for his lack of size with his array of skills.

He continued: "What he will always have is a huge amount of skill.

“It takes time for people to bed into heavyweight, so put it this way, it would’ve been a lot easier fight for AJ a year-and-a-half ago.

“Now Usyk has fought a real heavyweight contender in Chisora, that will actually help him to start to understand what needs to be done.

“But AJ’s a different kind of beast. A good big guy will always beat a good small guy, so we’ll see.”

Joshua, 31, is relishing his Tottenham tussle with his fellow Olympian, saying: “The date is set and we are fully locked in.

"September 25, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown.

“We are two Olympic gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges.

"The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric, I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe-inspiring venue.

“The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.”

AJ hasn't set foot in the ring since his ninth-round knockout of Bulgarian bruiser Kubrat Pulev last December.

Usyk, meanwhile, was last in action against Dereck Chisora last November.

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