Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk came face-to-face with Britain’s Anthony Joshua for the first time this week ahead of their huge rematch in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia this Saturday evening, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The pair will meet in the ring this weekend eleven months on from their initial showdown in London last year which saw the Ukrainian run out a comfortable unanimous decision victor after twelve rounds at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Joshua enacted a contractual rematch clause in the immediate aftermath of the defeat as he looks to regain his heavyweight titles for the second time in his career, the first coming versus Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019 following the first defeat of his professional career earlier that year.
Joshua is under no illusions about what’s on the line this weekend as he steps in again with arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. “It’s a must win. I like the pressure, it’s been tough. Robert Garcia, Angel Fernandez as well as existing members of my previous team as well have definitely pushed me, challenged me. I’ve just gotta stay focused, get the job done and, god-willing, we’re victorious“.
Meanwhile the champion Usyk, dressed in a typically eccentric manner, is relishing the opportunity to prove the first time around was not just a flash in the pan as he looks to assert himself atop of the heavyweights in his quest to become the division’s undisputed ruler. “We’ve had enough time to study each other and this Saturday night will be a great, great fight. We were born to compete for life, for belts, for anything. The one who does not compete does not live. All our lives are competitions for anything, for something, for somebody. That’s why we are competing”.
The pair concluded the conference with an intense face-off as they peered into the souls of one another, just three days out from a rematch which will, for the time-being, crown the division’s new number one following the supposed retirement of Tyson Fury last week.