Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk press conference LIVE: Heavyweights meet ahead of Saturday’s fight

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 (Sky Sports)
(Sky Sports)

Thursday saw the final press conference ahead of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk’s clash for the unified world heavyweight titles.

The mouthwatering dust-up, which will be for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, is set to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday. It promises to be a thrilling night in London and, just over 48 hours away from the bout, champion Joshua and the undefeated Ukrainian came face-to-face for the first time since the contest was made.

Neither man is notorious for trash talking their opponents, and both remained largely composed and respectful on Thursday. Joshua came out with the comments most resembling fighting talk, however, saying, “You guys will be coming out to watch me hit a live bodybag,” and “if you told me I was fighting King Kong, I’d give it a go.”

Many are calling Usyk too small to deal with a heavyweight the size of Joshua. Others are saying the former undisputed cruiserweight champion possesses the boxing skill and nimbleness needed to frustrate the Briton and cause a seismic upset.

The real build-up started on Thursday as we got a good look at both fighters. Re-live updates from the press conference ahead of Friday’s weigh-in:

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Anthony Joshua will beat Oleksandr Usyk inside seven rounds, predicts Dillian Whyte

Joshua vs Usyk final press conference

  • Joshua defends world heavyweight titles against Usyk on Saturday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

  • AJ returns to ring after knocking out Pulev last December

  • Usyk, unbeaten at 18-0, looking to become a two-weight world champion after undisputed reign at cruiserweight

  • Ukrainian has won both heavyweight fights since moving up in weight and outpointed Derek Chisora last October

Joshua-Usyk press conference

15:00 , Dylan Terry

Two of the very best in the heavyweight division meet on Saturday night.

Both won Olympic gold in London nine years ago. Now they meet in the professionals in front of more than 60,000 fans in the very same city.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:51 , Dylan Terry

Sizing each other up? Usyk and Joshua exchanged a little handshake and a few moments together before separating and walking their separate ways.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:46 , Dylan Terry

Quaking in your boots, Eddie? Hearn signed a career-long extension with Anthony Joshua earlier this week.

But the promoter’s world could come crashing down if his golden boy is beaten by Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night.

This is a huge fight for lots of different people. And that’s what makes it a thrilling occasion.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:41 , Dylan Terry

Here it is! The two men meet face-to-face for the first time ahead of their huge heavyweight clash this weekend.

We are almost 48 hours away from that first bell!

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:37 , Dylan Terry

Not a great deal said between the two men. Calm and respectful as they both tend to be before every fight.

That being said, we are about to see a head-to-head. The first the pair have ever done together.

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:37 , Dylan Terry

Good luck, Anthony. This man is built different.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:35 , Dylan Terry

Joshua really does sound more driven than ever. He is simply calling this ‘another day in training camp’.

Think someone should tell him there are just two days to go.

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:32 , Dylan Terry

Usyk keen to make history. A man who knows what he wants. There’s no trash talking here, simply two respectful individuals who are fully focussed on winning.

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:30 , Dylan Terry

“You can do a lot more.” Safe to say Oleksandr Usyk does not look nervous.

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:28 , Dylan Terry

Fireworks at the ready.

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:25 , Dylan Terry

We’re just going around the various people who we have not come here to listen to. The managers, broadcasters, promoters, managers all have their say.

I will bring you the clips of Joshua and Usyk speaking when something interesting is actually said.

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:21 , Dylan Terry

Hearn reads out Joshua’s resume, his last 12 fights to be more precise. “Show me a resume that even compares,” he says.

A little message to a certain Mr Fury, perhaps?

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:18 , Dylan Terry

Here’s the pair meeting for the very first time...

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:17 , Dylan Terry

Here come the fighters! Incidentally, Usyk wearing a red suit with a brown waistcoat. Joshua in his usual Under Armour tracksuit.

Joshua-Usyk press conference

14:15 , Dylan Terry

Eddie Hearn begins with the usual introductions. It looks as though Usyk is doing some sudoku/crunching some numbers. Looks completely uninterested, the Ukrainian.

He is known for taking this approach to press conferences.

Usyk in The Joker suit?

14:10 , Dylan Terry

Oleksandr Usyk has just arrived in the building. We are yet to properly catch a glimpse of him, but it looked as though he was wearing a red Joker suit?!

This press conference may well have just gotten interesting!

Joshua details ‘old school’ training plan to ‘hurt’ Usyk ahead of heavyweight showdown

14:06 , Dylan Terry

Anthony Joshua has revealed he has used an ‘old school’ style of training in a bid to ‘hurt’ Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I’m in there with the ultimate aim of winning. My goal is to either hurt you or beat you until I get the win.

“Whether it’s the right hand, the uppercut or the jab? As long as it leads to a win. I could box on the front foot or the back foot. There is no real strategy except for winning.”

Opening up about the specifics of his training plan to beat Usyk, he then added: “No pads. Heavy bag work and a lot of sparring. But not really the mitts. Old school Rocky Marciano style.”

Anthony Joshua details ‘old school’ training plan to ‘hurt’ Oleksandr Usyk

How will Joshua approach press conference?

14:01 , Dylan Terry

Anthony Joshua is not well-known for his trash talk in press conferences. He almost always takes a cautious approach when talking to the press.

Will today be the same? Maybe he will say something to provoke Usyk in a bid to draw him out a little more in the fight?

Here’s hoping...

How much will the fighters earn?

13:57 , Dylan Terry

Joshua is expected to earn £15million for the fight against Usyk, per the Mirror. That is significantly more than he earned against Kubrat Pulev nine months ago when he was forced to fight in front of just 1,000 fans due to coronavirus restrictions.

This time he will step into the ring in front of 63,000 spectators inside the newly-built Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

However, the purse for this fight will still be a far cry from the £66m he took home after the Andy Ruiz Jr rematch in Saudi Arabia. A great deal of that purse was down to the site fee the Saudis put up to stage the event.

It is also considerably less than the £200m that he was expected to earn for a two-fight deal with WBC champion Tyson Fury.

Meanwhile, Usyk is expected to earn around £3m for the fight, a figure that could rise to as high as £5m depending on how well the pay-per-view does on Sky Sports.

The Ukrainian made around $2.5m for his last fight, which was also on PPV, against another Briton in Dereck Chisora.

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk: How much will fighters earn for heavyweight fight?

Spurs getting ready for heavyweight dust-up

13:52 , Dylan Terry

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is being prepared for the huge event that is set to take place there on Saturday night.

As many as 63,000 fans will be packed into Spurs’ ground to witness AJ defend his world titles against Usyk.

It promises to be a spectacular occasion.

Short break

13:47 , Dylan Terry

Now there is a short break in proceedings as the undercard press conference has finished and we await the arrival of the two big guns at 2pm.

Don’t go anywhere though as we are building up to the first face-off between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk.

A real tension in the air!

Okolie ready for war

13:42 , Dylan Terry

Lawrence Okolie could not look less fazed by the media circus surrounding this fight week. Calm. As. You. Like.

Prodan-Marku face-off

13:40 , Dylan Terry

Safe to say Florian Marku is unpredictable.

Okolie keen to win in front of home fans

13:37 , Dylan Terry

Lawrence Okolie is looking to defend his WBO cruiserweight title on Saturday evening when he takes on Montenegrin Dilan Prasovic.

The 16-0 Brit has been pretty unphased in his rise to world honours as a professional. Could this be his first serious test?

Smith ready to bounce back from Canelo defeat

13:33 , Dylan Terry

Callum Smith has been out of the ring for nine months after being beaten by Canelo Alvarez in a unification bout at the end of 2020.

The Liverpudlian is jumping up from super-middleweight to light-heavyweight. But make no mistake, Smith was a ridiculously big 168-pounder and is still a big 175-pound fighter.

He faces Lenin Castillo on Saturday night in his first fight up at light-heavyweight. Should win.

Campbell Hatton ready to fight

13:27 , Dylan Terry

Ricky Hatton’s son Campbell will fight his fourth professional contest on Saturday night as he continues his progress after turning over from the amateurs.

The 20-year-old has a lot to learn but is already making noise due to the name he carries. Now he has to live up to that hype with performances in the ring.

Fireworks already!

13:22 , Dylan Terry

Wow! Maxim Prodan has really wound Florian Marku up here! The Albanian got up and wanted to scrap with Prodan right there and then.

He was dragged away by security but has now returned to the stage. Always a lot of trash talk when Marku is involved.

Joshua will beat Usyk inside seven rounds, predicts Whyte

13:20 , Dylan Terry

Dillian Whyte has tipped Anthony Joshua to win his heavyweight battle with Oleksandr Usyk inside seven rounds.

“[Anthony] Joshua will stop him in the first five, six, or seven rounds,” Whyte forecasted on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Usyk will start fast, and Joshua will be a bit cagey because he’s a southpaw, and he’s lighter. Joshua also lacks confidence sometimes in fights where he can get caught up.

“Hopefully, he goes back to his old self and starts pressing Usyk and being the bigger, stronger guy and starts backing him up and hitting him with stuff.”

Dillian Whyte: Anthony Joshua will beat Oleksandr Usyk inside seven rounds

Joshua vs Usyk

13:15 , Dylan Terry

Just two days until we witness Joshua and Usyk battle it out for three versions of the world heavyweight title at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Can AJ retain his belts for the second time since regaining them from Andy Ruiz Jr? Or can Usyk throw a spanner in the works by becoming a two-weight world champion?

Hearn questions Usyk’s power ahead of Joshua fight

13:10 , Dylan Terry

Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has questioned Oleksandr Usyk’s power ahead of their heavyweight title fight on Saturday.

He said: “I think everyone can punch. I don’t think he is a puncher.

“That doesn’t mean you can’t be fearful of him as a puncher because he is sharp and sometimes he hits you from angles with shots that you don’t see and sometimes they’re the deadliest ones.

“I’m sure he can hurt all heavyweights, but I don’t fear his power in this fight like I would watching AJ against Wladimir (Klitschko) or against (Deontay) Wilder if that fight happened.”

Oleksandr Usyk’s power questioned ahead of Anthony Joshua fight

Where Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk will be won and lost

13:02 , Alex Pattle

All the leading bookmakers overwhelmingly favour Joshua. The age-old theory suggests ‘a good big ‘un beats a good little ‘un’ and the Briton has the physical advantages in height and reach and will almost certainly be heavier than his Ukrainian rival by at least one stone.

Joshua weighed just over 240lbs for his win over Kubrat Pulev last December while Usyk was more than 20lbs lighter two months earlier in outpointing Derek Chisora. There is a suspicion Joshua is looking leaner than usual in training camp but he should still be the heavier of the two.

So what gives Usyk a chance? Here’s what:

Breaking down Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk heavyweight title fight

Tyson Fury ‘definitely’ wants Anthony Joshua to beat Oleksandr Usyk

12:45 , Alex Pattle

Tyson Fury has revealed he will be rooting for Anthony Joshua to beat Oleksandr Usyk in their world heavyweight title fight this weekend.

Joshua and Usyk will step into the ring at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London as they clash for the IBF, WBA and WBO belts.

And Fury, who holds the WBC title, is keen for fellow Briton Joshua to come out on top against the undefeated Ukrainian.

He said: “I watch all the boxing fights, every single one that happens I watch so of course I’m going to watch a heavyweight championship fight, for sure.

“Do I want him to win?” Read Fury’s full answer to his own question, below:

Tyson Fury ‘definitely’ wants Anthony Joshua to beat Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk: ‘I’ve been watching Anthony Joshua for a long time. I won’t be nervous’

10:59 , Jack Rathborn

Oleksandr Usyk, boxing’s most successful road warrior, has won world title fights in Gdansk, Berlin, Riga, Inglewood, Maryland, Moscow and Manchester but for him London will always be his “lucky place”.

The Ukrainian southpaw has this week returned to the capital in preparation for Saturday’s clash with IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. And, although it was the man with the belts who grew up just a tube ride away from the Tottenham High Road, Usyk will be feeling similarly at home.

Like Joshua, the 34-year-old capped a superb amateur career by clinching gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games and won his final – in the 91kg heavyweight division – on the very same weekend that Joshua did the same up at super-heavy. Both men have said this week that they never realised they were on a collision course.

But after Joshua’s much-discussed unification with WBC champion Tyson Fury fell out of bed, the Londoner decided to take care of his WBO mandatory challenger Usyk instead of relinquishing the title entirely.

Oleksandr Usyk: ‘I’ve been watching Anthony Joshua for a long time’

Joshua vs Usyk prize money: How much will fighters earn for heavyweight fight?

10:59 , Jack Rathborn

Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will do battle for three versions of the world heavyweight title when they meet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night.

The 31-year-old Briton will make the second defence of his belts since reclaiming them against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia at the end of 2019.

But Joshua faces an extremely tough task as he comes up against the unbeaten Usyk, who is an Olympic gold medallist and former undisputed cruiserweight champion.

The Ukrainian has already beaten one British world champion in Tony Bellew, stopping him in the eighth round of their fight back in 2018.

But Joshua will be confident his size and strength can overwhelm Usyk, who is widely regarded as a pound-for-pound star.

Here is what you need to know about the fighters purses for the clash this weekend.

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk: How much will fighters earn for heavyweight fight?

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