The Ring Magazine Title now at stake: Usyk vs Joshua II plus expert predictions

Reported by Michael Montero on The Neutral Corner podcast the Ring Magazine contributor reported Tyson Fury has vacated the Ring Magazine Title and it is on the line this Saturday. For US fans the rematch in the desert between Usyk and Joshua will take place on DAZN at 1pm ET this Saturday. With the retirement of Tyson Fury the Ring title is now vacant and Usyk and Joshua are the two highest contenders. This heightens the stakes a little further with the chance to crown a new champion. In the wake of this upcoming battle the Ring Magazine has published the prediction poll for the fight and it is 18-2-1 for Usyk to retain the championships he won last year and add the new one at stake. I will add a few here and link the article for readers to see the rest:

“So many questions heading into this rematch… Which fighter can improve and show more levels from the first bout? Who will have more rust after nearly a year out of the ring? How will the war in his homeland affect Usyk? How will Joshua look with his new trainer? I expect AJ to start fast and be aggressive with his offense early on. If Usyk can survive that early storm, he will settle into his rhythm by the mid rounds and coast late as Joshua tires. Usyk will get buzzed early but survive. Joshua will be hurt late. I like the Ukrainian by unanimous decision.”

“I see Usyk winning a hard-fought close decision. I can see Joshua making some adjustments in the beginning, just like Wilder did in his third fight with Fury, but then resorting to his familiar ways and tactics. Usyk will have his hands full for 12 rounds, but he too will have to make necessary changes in strategy and close the show. I don’t see scores being unanimous.”

“Gotta go with Usyk, but perhaps not as convincingly as in the first fight. It’s just a bad style matchup for Joshua. Then again, Usyk is a bad style matchup for just about anybody. Usyk by unanimous decision.”

For the rest of the predictions please read:

For my prediction I have to go with Oleksandr Usyk to win again this time by decision but a late stoppage is possible. Joshua was out on his feet in the closing seconds and nearly collapsed at the conclusion of the fight and would have been stopped with just a few more seconds. The fight was fought at a high pace the first time and was close in the middle of the contest before Usyk just ran away with it. I had the first fight scored 117-111 with Usyk piling on points in the second half. Joshua boxed a very clean fight and used his height to sit back and try and counter. He had moments of success and did bruise up Usyk’s face but never had him in any serious danger. Joshua had momentary success going to the body but never truly followed up with it. If Joshua were to win he would need to get to that body sooner and be more aggressive. Yes that takes energy and yes that opens counter opportunities but he did not make Usyk uncomfortable enough in the first fight. He tried to box and play safe and counter and it failed. The next best thing he could do is take this fight to the trenches and hope he is bigger, stronger and the bigger puncher. He may go out on his shield but it beats getting boxed again over twelve rounds. I just believe Usyk is the better boxer, better conditioned, and more versatile and regardless of adjustments made by Joshua he will still prevail. Let the best man win!

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