By Vanessa Ekpereka (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Anthony Joshua is the ‘best athletic heavyweight’ in the last 20 years above Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
That is according to former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew, who believes Joshua is ‘on another level to everybody else’.
Joshua and Fury, who is currently the No 1-ranked heavyweight in the world, were due to fight to determine the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in the early 2000s before those plans were scuppered.
Fury is now scheduled to defend the WBC strap he wrenched from Wilder against the Bronze Bomber in a rematch in Las Vegas on July 24, while Joshua has a mandatory defence against ex-cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk.
Bellew, who was knocked out by Usyk back in 2018, insisted that Joshua has the tools to defeat the Ukrainian as he talked up his ability and labelled him an ‘unbelievable specimen’.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: ‘I know exactly how good Usyk is. He’s an amazing talent. Best fighter I ever fought.
‘But I don’t believe he’s big enough and dangerous enough to cause AJ problems.
‘Well, he’s big enough to cause him problems, I don’t think he’d last long enough to defeat him. But he will cause problems while he’s standing and he’s [AJ] going to have to get rid of him. He’ll put the pressure on, make him pay for every single thing he earns in there.
‘AJ is the best athletic heavyweight I’ve seen in the last two decades. As an athlete, mate, he’s unbelievable. He’s an unbelievable specimen, he really is. The power he can move at, the speed he can move at, the dexterity; it’s unbelievable.
‘He’s on another level to everybody else. He’s just got to keep improving on that boxing IQ, which he is. He showed that against Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch. How unbelievable he was.’
He added: ‘In the Pulev fight, he went back a little bit and showed the old things he was doing and the way he broke down the big men with the speed that counts,’ he explained.
‘But then he’s going to have to show something different against Oleksandr Usyk again. He’s going to have to box at times, put pressure on and he’ll have to get hit as well.
‘So, he’ll have to show different things that he hasn’t done in his career so far, but then again, he’s always improving, always getting better and it’s just fantastic to see.’