There have been many predictions for the outcome of the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk.
But, few men have the ability to make the kind of informed decision based on sharing a ring with both fighters that Joseph Parker and Joe Joyce can claim.
In 2018, with Joshua emerging from the heroics of knocking out Wladimir Klitschko in a stunning contest a year earlier, the Brit faced Parker in a world heavyweight title unification bout.
The fight never really got started, as Parker lacked aggression and Joshua comfortably boxed the back foot to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Now Parker has weighed in on Joshua’s upcoming rematch with Usyk, as he told talkSPORT: “I don’t know what Joshua is doing with his new team and hopefully he’ll be a more improved fighter, but I side with Usyk.”
As for Joyce, he faced Usyk on the amateur side in 2013 at the World Series of Boxing and was beaten.
He believes Joshua has little more than a knocking chance when he takes on Usyk in the rematch.
“Usyk has already beaten Joshua,” Joyce told talkSPORT. “So it’s still the same and he also has the confidence to have beaten him the first time.
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“So it’s up to Joshua now to step up his game and try to reclaim those titles. I still think Usyk has what it takes to hit him again.
“But, Joshua has a chance to hit, a big punch, but if he can’t land those big punches, it’s Usyk again.”
Joyce went on to say that he wanted the chance to avenge his loss to Usyk from the amateurs and that he might get that chance if he could beat Parker on September 24.
Currently ranked No. 1 with the WBO, if Joyce can defeat the No. 2-ranked Parker, he will become a mandatory challenger for the WBO heavyweight title and next in line to fight Usyk’s winner against Joshua 2.
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