Oleksandr Usyk is Anthony Joshua’s “best” opponent but defeat would be “unthinkable” at this crucial stage of the British star’s career, says Johnny Nelson.
Two Olympic gold medallists will collide when Usyk challenges Joshua for the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.
Usyk has previously reigned supreme at cruiserweight, unifying every single world title, and is yet to suffer a defeat in his perfect professional career.
Sky Sports expert Nelson said: “Usyk is the best fighter we may have seen in the ring with AJ to date.
“Success-wise – amateur and professional – style-wise, he is the best fighter that AJ will get in the ring with.
“Not everyone will realise that. People might think, ‘AJ is getting in the ring with a cruiserweight,’ but he is the best, in my opinion. He’s just a winner all the way through.
“I’ve been underwhelmed since his move up to heavyweight, but technically he’s the best.
“Usyk pressures fighters well, without doing a great deal.
“He makes fighters think he is going to put them under pressure, makes them throw shots they don’t want to throw, and makes them work at a pace they don’t want to work at. That’s what he’s very good at and that’s what he did to Tony Bellew.
“Remember, I saw this guy sparring with Wladimir Klitschko when he was preparing for Tyson Fury – and he was giving Klitschko nightmares.”
Joshua hopes to stay on course for an undisputed world heavyweight title clash with Fury, who defends his WBC belt against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas on October 9.
“I won’t get excited about Joshua vs Fury until they get their next fights out of the way. Then lets have a conversation about that,” said Nelson.
“I think it’s possible for AJ to come back from a shock, but it’s unthinkable.
“Of course, bragging rights and everything, it would make it hard on the ear for AJ when he listens to somebody like Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
“I think AJ wins, but it’s going to be dramatic.”