Amir Khan believes Anthony Joshua was two rounds away from beating Oleksandr Usyk in Saturday’s world title rematch, and has backed Tyson Fury to beat the Ukrainian in an undisputed heavyweight showdown.
Joshua was on the dropping facet of a break up determination after a much-improved efficiency in Saudi Arabia following a factors defeat of their first combat at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium final September.
The 2-time world champion’s greatest spell got here within the ninth when he piled on the stress and threatened to cease Usyk, who produced a exceptional response throughout the closing three rounds to retain the WBA, WBO and IBF belts.
“I had Joshua going into the combat and successful the combat,” mentioned Khan. “He did not look one of the best the primary time he fought him so I believed this time with a brand new coach, clearly a brand new coach brings out one of the best in you and goes to assist him.
“However to be sincere with you, after six or seven rounds within the combat, you would see Joshua slowing down and Usyk coming stronger.
“Usyk is a smaller man however the best way he placed on that muscle, the best way he dominated, particularly in direction of the top of the combat.
“These final two rounds had been what I feel misplaced AJ the combat. Until the tenth spherical, AJ was doing nicely and it was these final two rounds that gave it to Usyk.”
Fury has a deadline of Friday to verify to the WBC whether or not he intends to combat on after the 34-year-old reaffirmed his retirement following his stoppage win over Dillian Whyte in April.
The British star beforehand acknowledged he would return to the ring for £500m, whereas UK promoter Frank Warren informed Sky Sports activities this week that each Fury and Usyk want to make the combat occur.
“Usyk is likely one of the greatest fighters on the market. Pound for pound, it’s between him and Terrence Crawford,” added Khan. “What Usyk did final week was phenomenal.
“Tyson (Fury) desires to make that huge cash. Everyone seems to be working to Saudi Arabia as a result of they need that huge cheque.
“I spoke to Tyson a couple of days in the past and mentioned: ‘hear, perhaps we may also help you get that combat’.
“I feel a much bigger combat can be Wembley Stadium with AJ. Despite the fact that AJ misplaced, I nonetheless suppose it’s a huge combat and folks wish to watch that combat.
“However with Usyk turning into a world champion, successful all of the world titles, him and Fury, if that combat occurs, I give it to Fury.”
Khan mentioned he plans to contact Turki Al-Sheikh, a Saudi Minister answerable for leisure on the Royal Court docket, in an effort to assist facilitate the combat.
“I feel Fury has that long-range, he’ll field him and maintain him lengthy so I favour extra Fury in that combat,” Khan continued.
“You realize what his reply was: ‘I need £500 million’. I used to be like OK, I’ll get again to you.
“I converse to the Saudi Authorities, I do know Turki Al-Sheikh fairly nicely, the man who makes it occur in Saudi Arabia and I’ve not despatched him that message but, however I’m going to inform him he desires £500 million.
“That’s loopy, is not it?”