Oleksandr Usyk: Anthony Joshua’s critics ‘have no right’ to judge heavyweight

Oleksandr Usyk has hit out at critics of Anthony Joshua, saying they have ‘no right’ to judge the Briton.

Joshua suffered back-to-back decision losses to Usyk in 2021 and 2022, losing the unified heavyweight titles to the Ukrainian in their first fight and failing to regain them in their rematch.

“AJ”, 33, rebounded from those results with a decision win against Jermaine Franklin in April, though his performance was not entirely convincing. Still, the Briton has come in for too much criticism, according to Usyk.

“I think [Joshua] just needs a little more time to recover, the 35-year-old told Boxing King Media on Sunday (4 June).

“Who are those people who judge him? Who are the judges? Have they ever entered the ring? Have they ever trained and felt that pain? They have no right to say so.

“If you want to talk about the fighter, you have to at least once in your life get into the ring and get a sparring session – at least for one round, for three minutes. Then, you will have the right.”

The unbeaten Usyk is expected to defend his titles against another Briton, Daniel Dubois, in Poland in August. Dubois, 25, is the mandatory challenger to Usyk’s titles.

Usyk was in talks with WBC champion Tyson Fury over an undisputed-title clash this spring, but negotiations collapsed in March. Briton Fury is still without an opponent, though he tried and failed to revive talks with Joshua last week.

Joshua is instead expected to box Dillian Whyte in August. AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn said on Monday (5 June) that an offer has been sent to Whyte, whom Joshua knocked out in 2015.

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