There is no doubting that the upcoming rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk is a legacy-defining bout for both fighters. With the ramifications of a loss and the spoils to come as a result of such a high-profile victory, neither can afford to not have their hand raised when they meet at the Jeddah Super Dome.
For those looking to have a bet on the Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk rematch, it’s important to factor in the pressure each fighter is under and what it means for them were they to either win or lose on August 20th.
For Joshua, another loss not only places him somewhat in the wilderness at the elite level of the heavyweight division – it also quashes any real chance he has of a securing a mega-fight will fellow British world champion Tyson Fury. However, if the 32-year-old was to win, the narrative surrounding an undisputed clash with the ‘Gypsy King’ would have pundits and sports fans salivating in anticipation. That’s not to mention the financial incentive of a bout with Fury were it ever to come to fruition, with unofficial reports suggesting a match-up between the pair could net them in excess of £75 million respectively.
Compare that to Usyk, whose commercial value pales in comparison to that of Joshua. While many will think the Ukrainian is playing with house money in the rematch due to reigning supreme in their first affair – that line of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth. A loss in the rematch would see Joshua achieve a feat his idol and all-time great Muhammed Ali accomplished in 1978 – becoming a three-time world champion.
Thereafter, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Joshua’s management could see a third fight with Usyk as not being worth the risk. They will have a fighter who’s coming off a win against a pound-for-pound great, along with someone whose marketability and popularity will have likely returned to the dizzying heights experienced when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2016.
That doesn’t bode well for Usyk, who could find himself down the heavyweight pecking order – and given how talented of a boxer he has proven to be over the years – he could very well be void of opponents willing to face him moving forward.
While that is of concern, opponents who could potentially be tabled to fight the 35-year-old in the event of a defeat include Deontay Wilder, the winner of Andy Ruiz Jr. and Luis Ortiz, and former World Series of Boxing foe Joe Joyce to name a few.
Conversely, a win for Usyk catapults him into the pantheon of greats and sets up a potential mouth-watering clash with Fury. While their fight wouldn’t cross the aisle and reach the casual fan like that of a Joshua/Fury match-up, the appeal of determining who is the greatest heavyweight of this era would still garner plenty of interest.
With that in mind, no matter who wins this August, it will change the heavyweight boxing landscape for many years to come.