Anthony Joshua could be surprised by Oleksandr Usyk, claims Michael Hunter | DAZN News US

Anthony Joshua may be surprised by Oleksandr Usyk’s resilience, says fellow heavyweight Michael Hunter.

Usyk is the WBO mandatory challenger for the WBO, WBA and IBF belt holder and the pair meet on September 25 to contest Joshua’s three belts at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Ukrainian fighter Usyk defeated Hunter at cruiserweight before the duo both made the step up to heavyweight. Speaking to Sky Sports, Hunter praised him for some of the qualities he brings as a previously lighter boxer.

"He is fleet-footed and defensive-minded," Hunter said.

“It will be very difficult to actually get a win over Usyk in a certain fashion.

"Joshua will have to have a concrete game-plan and follow it. It will be a very hard task.

If he pulls it off? Give the man credit.

"Because this style of fighting, for him, is the most difficult."

Hunter played down the step up in weight class, pointing out that cruiserweights have a fair amount of heft to them, saying: "Anybody at the 200lbs weight class is pretty much a heavyweight. We all hit hard."

Hunter continued: "Even though he doesn't focus on hitting hard, he has enough power to absorb and withstand punches.

"He is bulking up and he is taller than me, he has some length to him.

"He will do exceptionally well. He hasn't taken any Ls and hasn't been in any trouble since he's been pro.

"A lot of people are saying he hasn't performed to the best of his abilities.

"Against Joshua, he will have to. He has done it a few times before, like at the Olympics. He is a Grade-A boxer.

"Joshua is still learning on the job, going through experiences.

"There is an element of surprise because we don't know what type of Joshua will come out.

"We know what type of Usyk will come out, we just don't know at what level."

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