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Andre Ward believes Oleksandr Usyk cannot beat Tyson Fury. The former two-weight lineal champion thinks that Fury has too much mass for the Ukrainian who previously operated at cruiserweight for the majority of his professional career.
Usyk rematches Anthony Joshua on August 20 at the King Abdullah Sport City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In their first encounter, Usyk defeated ‘AJ’ on home soil as he claimed the WBA (super), IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles in September of last year.
‘The Cat’ comfortably outpointed Joshua and managed to outmanoeuvre his far bigger foe over the course of twelve rounds. But despite his impressive performance against a larger heavyweight, Ward sees Fury’s nimbleness combined with his mass being a step too far.
“He’s [Usyk] not going to beat Tyson Fury,” Ward told Behind the Gloves. “Tyson Fury’s not just some big lumbering guy, he’s skilful, he can fight. It’s just too much mass, I think.
“I think Tyson Fury should fight the winner [of Joshua-Usyk] whoever it is, try to get another belt and if successful ride off into the sunset. He’s got nothing else to prove.”
Fury retired from boxing in April but has since teased a return to the ring to face the winner of Usyk-Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight crown. It is understood that ‘The Gypsy King’ would prefer an all-British showdown with Joshua and has been very public about his interest in that fight.
When asked whether ‘AJ’ can beat Usyk, Ward responded: “I think he can but I think he has to change some things. I think he needs to keep getting that mass off of him like he tried to do in the first fight.
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“He showed us that he can make adjustments like what he did with Andy Ruiz so I don’t think we can
count him out. He just didn’t know what to do [in the first fight], you see him thinking like man how do I stop this smaller guy from hitting me he just didn’t know.
“Be the bigger man come behind your jab don’t get caught up in the boxing match, don’t try to be cute, be the bigger man impose your will and let’s get this guy out of here and if he does that I think he can win.”
Joshua is expected to adopt a more aggressive approach for the rematch under new trainer Robert Garcia as he goes in search of the stoppage. According to Garcia, they are developing his mindset to become a “mean guy in the ring” and he has been displaying those qualities in the lead-up to fight night.
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