At last, the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk goes down on August 20 in Saudi Arabia. But don’t you even think about betting on Joshua vs. Usyk 2 until you read this. We’re previewing the fight and offering expert predictions on the highly-anticipated bout.
Joshua vs. Usyk 2 Preview
As we preview Joshua vs. Usyk 2, it should pay to remember what happened during the two’s first meeting in September of 2021. That night, Usyk shocked most the boxing world — not only beating Joshua, but completely outclassing him in the process. The scorecards had it 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113 — in favor of Usyk, earning him the unanimous decision and the heavyweight belts (the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO) from Joshua.
Back then, top-used online sportsbooks had Usyk at +225 odds to win shortly before bell time — marking the first time he had ever been an underdog in his career. That’s not the case this time around as Usyk is a comfortable betting favorite. Here’s the current Usyk vs. Joshua odds:
Joshua was beat last time out in his own backyard at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. That home-crowd advantage — and perhaps the pressure of fighting in front it — is no more as the grudge match takes place in the Middle East.
Joshua vs. Usyk 2 Moneyline Pick
Who’s got the edge — Usyk again? Or can AJ redeem himself? We’ll offer our moneyline betting pick on Joshua vs. Usyk 2 but first, let’s break down the fight further.
Usyk is clearly the better boxer skills-wise, and that’s no knock on Joshua as no one in the weight class can outdo Usyk in the technical skills department. The one-time cruiserweight and Olympic gold medalist is 19-0 over his career. He used slick movement and feints to outpoint Joshua in the first go — despite giving up almost 20 pounds to him. Usyk hasn’t stepped in the ring since that night, but neither has Joshua.
However, here’s the big difference between the two: AJ’s mind has been squarely focused on the bout for almost a year now. Heck, him enacting his rematch clause is why this is happening to begin with. Usyk? Welp, his native country of Ukraine is under invasion by Russia, of course. He needed permission from his home officials to participate, but at what cost? Perhaps less than 100-percent focus?
But to Joshua’s credit, he isn’t just banking on avenging the defeat by being more focused and prepared. Shortly after the loss, the Englishmen parted ways with longtime head trainer Robert McCracken — the same one that guided him to an Olympic gold medal and two different world title reigns. Replacing McCracken is newly-hired Robert Garcia (Angel Fernandez was also promoted to head trainer). Rumor has it the two are working to make Joshua more aggressive and better use his natural size advantage over Usyk to score a knockdown.
Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but we’re not buying it. We just don’t think there’s enough time to transform Joshua. Generally speaking, one training camp isn’t enough to massively change a fighter, especially not one 32 years of age like Joshua.
You can probably guess what way we’re betting on August 20 and that’s with Usyk. Rather than be distracted, we’re betting Usyk will be more motivated than ever to persevere and represent his war-torn country. Bettors, take Usyk to win once more here!
Joshua vs. Usyk 2 Over/Under Pick
There’s a tad more betting value on the Usyk vs. Joshua over/under, which is set at 10.5 rounds. Here’s how the line stands across boxing’s best-rated betting sites:
|Over 10.5 Rounds||-150||-150|
|Under 10.5 Rounds||+120||+120|
If Joshua is indeed more aggressive as reports out of his fight camp suggest, that could be either good or bad news. Good because he can drop Usyk, which is his most likely path to victory in the second go-round. But bad news if that style leaves him vulnerable to getting dropped to the canvas himself.
We’re already on record saying Usyk wins, and while we think he could score a knockdown at some point, the Ukrainian fighter will ultimately win by decision once more. Joshua’s size is too much to put down for good. Plus, power has never been Usyk’s strong suit.
We predict this rematch to be almost parallel to the first meeting. Here again, expect Usyk to completely outbox Joshua. We do foresee Joshua trying to turn this rematch more into a brawl, but Usyk's in-ring IQ is too good to fall down that path. Unanimous decision for Usyk will be how it ends, thus going over 10.5 rounds.
How To Bet On Joshua vs. Usyk
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