DAZN bribery, war in Ukraine, shallow ring? Ali Bashir on Usyk’s Obstacles in Joshua Rematch


Boxing coach from the USA, former mentor of the current WBO / IBF / WBA heavyweight champion (over 90.7 kg) Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) James Ali Bashir answered questions from a British blogger on the eve of the announcement of Usyk’s rematch with former unified British champion Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs).

interview Bashir offered his opinion on Joshua’s style change, responded to fans’ concerns about Usyk’s fitness, shared his assumptions about Alexander’s handling of the fight, and commented on the Briton’s vulnerabilities.

“There’s a lot of talk in Joshua’s camp about Mexican style and that Robert Garcia will get the Mexican out of him. Your thoughts?

Styles make fights. I think Mexican style won’t work for Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk because Usyk is in the ring like a fox. They are looking for effective ways to fight against Oleksandr Usyk, but just pressing, trying to rework him – I don’t think it will look good. I would approach this fight with a completely different strategy because Oleksandr Usyk is one of the best boxers, if not the best boxer in the heavyweight division today.

– Let’s talk about the fact that Oleksandr Usyk looks slimmer. He’s not in the shape he was in the first fight with Joshua. People are worried it’s because of the war in Ukraine that Usyk will come out maybe easier, he won’t be in better shape, he might get knocked out by Joshua, he might not be that professional, a lot of money comes from DAZN and so maybe , he will give titles for money. Can you tell us your thoughts on this?

– Knowing Usyk from my own experience … As I said, I worked very closely with him for 3 years. I got to know him not only as a boxer, but also got to know the style, got to know him as a person. And I can tell you right now that Oleksandr Usyk will not sell his titles. He is not that kind of person. Oleksandr Usyk is a very proud Ukrainian, very, very patriotic, endearing to fellow countrymen. He won’t sell the titles to anyone. I think Oleksandr Usyk will fight until he gets knocked out. I think he will fight to the death.

I think he will be ready mentally. I think he will be ready physically. Knowing Usyk over the years of cooperation with him, I would not have hoped for such information, for this seed from Usyk’s camp. I think it’s just a ploy to distract Anthony Joshua. And Anthony Joshua would be a complete fool if he bought into it. If Oleksandr Usyk comes out to fight in Saudi Arabia or even on the street, you can bet your ass that he will fight. He will come to take your head. Do they want to rest on their laurels on the fact that he won’t qualify because of the war or something else? Oleksandr Usyk left the war to prepare for a boxing match.

“You will definitely see another Joshua. Anthony’s coaches talked about preparing for Usyk

– Will the smaller ring of Anthony Joshua against Oleksandr Usyk help?

– Of course. I think it will benefit Joshua. But the fact is that Oleksandr Usyk is the world champion, so he will dictate the size of this ring. If Anthony Joshua didn’t do it in the first fight, then that’s his problem. Usyk is now in the driver’s seat, and he will dictate the size of the ring.

Will Usyk try to knock out Joshua? Personally, I think it will.

– Yes, I think that Usyk will strive to knock out. From the moment I decided to do this fight, I thought he was going for the knockout, and I still think so.

– You know what? I think that in the 12th round there was a real Oleksandr Usyk. For 11 rounds he kind of watched Joshua, and in round 12 he said, “Let me step on the gas and see what we get out of it.” And he stepped on the pedal. As soon as he stepped on the gas, tied his combinations – Joshua was near the ropes and could be stopped. When I watched the 12th round, I thought that Usyk had one more pass.

– I also saw some vulnerabilities in round 7. If Joshua’s corner knew what to look for… I saw some vulnerabilities, some holes in Anthony Joshua. But there is one thing in the job of a boxing coach. The coach must know what to watch. A lot of times coaches just yell “Jab, double jab, hook, counter” and all sorts of things that you can’t be wrong about. But these things don’t always work.