Oleksandr Usyk is ‘already in Anthony Joshua’s head’ and the British heavyweight star knows how much of a threat the Ukrainian poses, according to his co-promoter.
Alexander Krassyuk, who works with Usyk alongside Eddie Hearn, believes Joshua is under no illusion of the challenge Usyk would pose.
The 33-year-old takes on Dereck Chisora on October 31 and victory would make him WBO mandatory challenger to Joshua.
Oleksandr Usyk will have the mandatory shot at Anthony Joshua if he beats Dereck Chisora
Usyk’s co-promoter believes the Ukrainian is already in the head of the world champion
‘Usyk is already in AJ’s head,’ Krassyuk told Sky Sports.
‘Their fight will happen anyway, this is just a matter of time. There is no difference how big Usyk’s win is – AJ knows that this guy is a real threat for him.’
Joshua is preparing to fight Kubrat Pulev on December 12 and will then have plenty of options in terms of opponents.
He has agreed in principle to a huge two-fight deal to fight Tyson Fury next year and could accept that fight not being to unify the belts.
AJ could be stripped of the WBO title if he refuses to fight Usyk or the Ukrainian digs his heels in and will not stand aside.
Krassyuk believes his man will make light work of Chisora this weekend unless Chisora has the ability to be evasive for all 12 rounds.
‘The KO does not depend much on Usyk but on Chisora’, he said.
‘If Derek is in good shape and condition, if he will be ready to be moving for the whole distance, if his stamina will be sufficient to stay focused without losing concentration, then a KO is not likely to happen.
Chisora and Usyk lock horns on October 31 and Alexander Krassyuk hopes he is in shape
‘But once Derek decides to [take a risk] he will be immediately floored.
‘I expect that Usyk’s plan will be very similar to his previous bouts. He will start slow using his jab to learn his opponent’s intentions.
‘In two or three rounds Usyk will add some artillery and will start to gradually destroy Chisora.’