Anthony Joshua will try and hand Oleksandr Usyk his first loss this Saturday night and the British heavyweight explained why his fight with Usyk is necessary for boxing
Joshua will defend his heavyweight titles against Usyk on Saturday night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The two men appeared in London today, facing off for the first time after the final press conference ahead of their fight.
Joshua was originally scheduled to fight WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on August 14 before being booked against Usyk.
Their unification fight was cancelled when an arbitration judge ruled in favour of Deontay Wilder’s rematch against Fury.
With some of the biggest fights in boxing either happening too late or not happening at all, Joshua feels his fight with Usyk is great for the sport.
He said: “You guys know we are here for a great fight Saturday. I hope you guys are happy with the opponent choice because boxing needs it.
“We’ve got other competitions in the entertainment business and boxing is a great sport that has great potential, but without great fights and great matchups, it will never be able to reach its potential.
The undefeated Usyk unified the cruiserweight titles in 2018 and defended them against Tony Bellew before moving up to heavyweight.
The Ukrainian has only fought twice in his new weight class, facing a big step up in competition against Joshua after defeating Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora.
And on Usyk’s move to heavyweight Joshua said: “You look at [Evander] Holyfield when he turned into the heavyweight division, 25 years old fought six heavyweights. Usyk’s a bit older, so he wants to get involved in the heavyweight division a bit earlier.
“He hasn’t got that same amount of time, and well done to him for taking on the challenge. People talk about my resume, but he’s obviously a good fighter and warrior as well.
“He’s a live opponent, hasn’t taken a loss has he. Hasn’t been knocked down. He’s good, it’ll be a good fight.”
Who wins this Saturday night, Joshua or Usyk? Let us know in the comments section below
Joshua is backed to weigh-in at his lightest weight in eight years this weekend, with the Brit noticeably trimming down in the lead up to the fight.
‘AJ’ stepped on the scale at 240 pounds for his fight against Kubrat Pulev, whilst Usyk weighed 217 pounds for his decision win against Chisora last October.
And Usyk is unfazed by any weight disadvantage he will have: “The power is not about somebody being big or small, it’s in your spirit. David [Haye] was three times less weight than [Nikolai] Valuev and that shows it [weight] doesn’t matter.”