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Usik vs Joshua 2

The Ukrainian came in at 15st, 11lb and 10oz having weighed a then career heaviest 15st 11lbs (221lbs) when he beat Joshua to clinch the IBF, WBA and WBO belts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs), who came in at a lean looking 244.5 lbs at today’s weigh-in, says face-offs and weight means nothing. The only thing that matters is what takes place inside the ring when he battles unified heavyweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) in a rematch at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua, 32, looked amped up during the weigh-in, and he was clearly feeling the pressure that was being put on him. AJ can’t afford to lose this fight if he wants to continue to be viewed as one of the elite heavyweights in the division.

“Not much. It was just a face-off. For me personally, face-offs don’t mean nothing,” said Anthony Joshua after weighing in. “It’s just about the bell ringing and us throwing leather, really. Face-offs don’t win fights.

“I’ll be honest; all this stuff doesn’t matter. It’s just about the fight,” said Joshua when asked about his thoughts on Usyk’s weight. All this stuff, weight, face-offs, none of it matters to me. I’m just looking forward to the fight.

“I’m just ready for 12 rounds. 100% ready for 12 rounds; anything short of that is a bonus.

“It was an intense head-to-head. They’re ready,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV. “I think both guys are pretty emotional. I think Usyk has been emotional during the week, and he’s got a lot going on around his world.

“AJ really wants the win. You saw that in the head-to-head. He’s just preparing himself for battle and for war. I did an interview with the BBC yesterday, and the presenter said to me, ‘If AJ loses, surely, he’s finished. I mean, how many comebacks can one man have?’

“I was like, ‘what are you talking about?’ But that’s the pressure he’s under. People are writing him off. People are writing him off in the fight, saying if he loses, ‘That’s it for him.’ The answer is loads of pressure.

“I don’t think he cares about those opinions. He’s more about putting pressure on himself. He doesn’t want to lose this fight. He’s a winner and loves to compete. He lost last time and doesn’t want to lose again,” said Hearn.


By Jim Calfa

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