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This week we’re betting the long awaited main event on Saturday’s Matchroom card, Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk. We’re intrigued by Usyk’s attempt to win the heavyweight title after clearing out a lower weight division which is rarely done, and usually only by Hall of Fame caliber fighters like Evander Holyfield and Michael Spinks. Usyk is certainly the kind of fighter who could wind up in the HOF just by notching another 10 cruiserweight title victories, but he’s got greater glory in mind. But we don’t think this is a particularly difficult fight to bet. Usyk’s footwork and southpaw style have always been a problem for anyone who opposed him, but those advantages were amplified by the fact that he had a reach advantage in all but a few of his fights at cruiserweight. He was able to outmaneuver everyone without having to take a lot of chances. That won’t be the case here. Joshua has 4″ in reach, 3″ in height, and 20 pounds in weight advantage over Usyk. Sure, Usyk is the more fluid fighter but he’ll have to come forward and find his way past Joshua’s right hand to get work done. We could see Joshua’s jab being neutralized in terms of landing shots, but he’ll probably need to consistently show it anyway to give the right hand the range it needs to be a persistent threat. It’s possible Joshua could run out of gas, though he showed the ability to move around a lot for a full 12 rounds in the Ruiz rematch. His biggest weakness will always be his chin, which doesn’t play to Usyk’s advantages. We think Joshua gets it done via decision without any great drama. But Usyk is one of our favorite fighters to watch and any upset here wouldn’t be shocking.
$68 on Anthony Joshua at -265