Anthony Joshua and Demsey McKean
Heavyweight contender Demsey McKean 21-0 (13) believes former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 24-2 (22) can turn the tables on his conqueror Oleksandr Usyk 19-0 (13) when they meet in an immediate rematch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on August 20.
The 32-year-old Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF belts to the undefeated Ukrainian southpaw by unanimous decision in his home country of England last September.
Australian southpaw McKean was drafted in as a sparring partner for Joshua ahead of his first bout against the 35-year-old Usyk.
The WBO number nine and IBF number 13 ranked heavyweight believes Joshua can spring the upset and stop Usyk in the mid-to-late rounds of the fight.
“AJ, I backed him the first time and I’m going to back him the second time,” McKean told Pro Boxing Fans.
“I think he’s going to come in more polished and I don’t know if it’ll go to points. I think he may even get a knockout in the late rounds, in six to eight rounds.
“I have a feeling he might get the knockout. It’s going to be a tough fight though. It’s going to be a hard fight for both boys, having gone 12 rounds together and knowing their styles.
“Rematches are always a tricky one, aren’t they? They can go either way but I’ve got a feeling [Joshua’s] going to win this fight by round six or eight by knockout.”
McKean added he doesn’t expect WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 32-0-1 (23) live up to his word that he is retired. Brit Fury, 33, announced he was hanging up the gloves following his sixth-round knockout of mandatory contender Dillian Whyte 28-3 (19) in April but to date he has not relinquished his green championship belt.
“Man, he’s not retired. He’s playing the game, talking that smack and he’s doing what he does,” McKean said.
“Until he’s registered with the WBC that he’s retired and that belt comes vacant and a couple of other people fight for it, he’s not retired. It’s as simple as that.
“The WBC, they’re probably on his case, ‘Are you retiring or what because we can get a lot of money in sanctioning for this belt to fight?’ They’re a business. The sanctioning bodies need to make their money as well.
“I think [Fury’s] going to wait for the winner and it’s either Usyk or AJ. Then, of course, he’s going to come out – and I can guarantee you right now – he’s definitely not going to fight for free if it’s AJ. That’s for sure.
“That fight is not for free. I don’t care who it is. That’s a massive payday fight. That’s not happening for free, regardless. If he wants to fight for free, good. Give that money to charity or someone that needs it, but I guarantee nothing will be for free on that fight.
“Hey, he’s playing the game, that’s Tyson Fury and that’s what he does.”