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Tyson Fury has said that Oleksandr Usyk won't trouble Anthony Joshua, despite earlier questioning if his rival would be able to get past the Ukrainian.
The two heavyweight champions had signed a deal to fight on August 14 in Saudi Arabia for the unified title, but Fury was forced to fight Deontay Wilder instead due to an aribtration ruling.
And once that ruling came in, Joshua was ordered to face mandatory challenger Usyk, who was considered one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the world when he was undisputed cruiserweight champion.
But despite winning an Olympic medal at heavyweight as well as the World Boxing Super Series and every major belt at cruiserweight, Fury believes that he won't have the power to trouble a proper heavyweight like Joshua.
"I don't believe Usyk is a heavyweight for one," Fury told Seconds Out. "I think he's a pumped up cruiserweight who struggles with heavyweights.
"In my opinion, Derek Chisora beat Oleksandr Usyk; he certainly struggled with Derek Chisora and Joshua is a much bigger, stronger man than Derek.
"I think he walks straight through Usyk, people are trying to build it up as a scary fight but he didn't have the power to halt cruiserweights like Mairis Briedis or whoever else he fought.
Anthony Joshua has been backed to defend his belts against Oleksandr Usyk by rival Tyson Fury
(Image: Getty Images)
"So he ain't going to halt AJ, 260 lbs of pure muscle and 6"6', how's he going to keep him off?
"He couldn't hurt Derek Chisora, hit him with his best shots on the chin and he didn't hurt him, or at least it didn't look like he'd hurt him."
This is a stark contrast to comments Fury made just days ago in an interview with the Daily Mail, where he said that he wasn't confident Joshua would defend all of his belts against Usyk.
The Watford native will fight Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in September. with the crowd size still to be determined due to ever-changing coronavirus restrictions in the UK.
"Usyk is a southpaw, clever, technically very good," Fury said to MailSport just a few days ago.
"He’s smaller as a former cruiserweight champion but he handled Derek Chisora, who is physically tougher than Joshua.
"So while I’m absolutely confident of beating Wilder, I’m not so sure about AJ not losing his fight."
Fury will face someone who certainly knows all about stopping heavyweights in Wilder next month, having felt the American's power over the 19 rounds they've shared in their first two fights.
Wilder dropped Fury twice in their first bout back in December 2018 at the Staples Centre, including a thunderous right hand in the twelfth from which he miraculously got up and earned a draw, which many felt he won.
But it was Fury who had the power in their second fight, dropping Wilder twice in the early rounds before it was stopped in the seventh to earn the Brit the WBC heavyweight belt, which he will defend in their trilogy on July 24 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.