TYSON FURY backed Anthony Joshua to beat ‘pumped up cruiserweight’ Oleksandr Usyk and walk ‘straight through’ him.
Joshua is set to face his mandatory challenger Usyk in September after an undisputed title decider with Fury collapsed.
The WBC champion instead has to fight Deontay Wilder in a trilogy bout on July 24.
Fury knows avoiding defeat keeps the all-British super-fight alive – something he is confident Joshua can also do.
He said on SecondsOut: “I don’t believe Usyk is a heavyweight for one. 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.
“So he ain’t going to halt AJ, 260-pounds of pure muscle and 6ft 6in, 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.”
Joshua, 31, and Fury, 32, had agreed terms for a first ever four-belt, heavyweight unification on August 14 in Saudi Arabia.
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But Wilder, 35, argued he was still owed an immediate rematch which was included in his previous contract with Fury.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic the trilogy was postponed and then cancelled, with Fury’s side believing the stipulation expired.
Wilder then took his case to arbitration and right at the last he emerged victorious in the legal proceedings.
It axed the Battle of Britain and set up a third fight between himself and Fury, set for July 10 in Las Vegas.
Joshua was later ordered by the WBO to face Usyk, 34, providing him with another hurdle standing in the way of fighting Fury.
Despite the Gypsy King’s recent assessment, he initially predicted AJ would be in for a tough night’s work against the unbeaten southpaw.
Fury told the Daily Mail only a week earlier: “Usyk is a southpaw, clever, technically very good.
“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.”