Oleksandr Usyk was once kicked out of sparring with Wladimir Klitschko after embarrassing the boxing legend in a one-sided session.
Anthony Joshua, the unification heavyweight champion, will meet Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The sleek, southpaw from Ukraine will attempt to become a world champion at two weight. He previously won four belts at the cruiserweight level before moving up to heavyweight.
Although Usyk is widely considered to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, many believe he will not be able to compete with Joshua’s physical superiority.
However, former cruiserweight world champion Johnny Nelson’s revelation about one of his sparring sessions with Klitschko, whom AJ went hell for leather with in 2017, suggests otherwise.
Nelson claims that Usyk fought Tyson Fury before he fought him in 2015. Usyk was so close to Klitschko that he had to be thrown out of the ring.
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“I rate Usyk,” the Sky Sports pundit told Behind the Gloves in 2018.
“When I saw him sparring with Wladimir when Wladimir was preparing for Tyson Fury, I said ‘Who is that guy? Who is he?’
“Although I didn’t know it, I knew there was something special about him.
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“He did one round with Wladimir, and Wladimir slung him out and said, ‘get out, not while the press is here.’
“Wladimir was struggling. He was like Wladimir’s boss. ‘Get him out. Get someone else in.”
Klitschko is one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, enjoying an 11-year reign as champion before his defeat against Fury.
He was then stopped by Joshua in a historic bout at Wembley Stadium in April 2017, which saw him drop the Brit and come close to finishing the job before his eventual demise.
Many believe Usyk will prove to be AJ’s hardest test since Klitschko Saturday. Nelson’s sparring revelation is a strong proof of that.