Oleksandr Usyk warns Anthony Joshua that London is his ‘lucky place’ ahead of heavyweight title showdown

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 (Matchroom Boxing)
(Matchroom Boxing)

Oleksandr Usyk has warned Anthony Joshua that London is his lucky charm ahead of the pair’s heavyweight world title clash in the capital on Saturday night.

Like Joshua, Usyk won gold at the Olympics in the city back in 2012 plus the Ukrainian won his last fight in the pro ranks against Dereck Chisora at the SSE Arena in Wembley last October.

And the 34-year-old said: “I love London and the UK and it is my lucky place,” before insisting the pressure is all on Joshua.

Joshua has his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world titles on the line at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend and also has the prospect of a lucrative double header looming against Tyson Fury should he pull off another successful title defence.

And Usyk said: “It will be more difficult for him because he is defending titles and fighting at home. A bald guy will come to his home country and look for a big fight. It will be a great pleasure for me to be here again.”

Joshua’s latest opponent is seen as arguably his toughest since last fighting a Ukrainian in Wladimir Klitschko when he ended the then 40-year-old’s lengthy reign as heavyweight world champion.

Arguably technical more adept than his opponent, Usyk is a relative novice at heavyweight having only recently made the step up from dominating the cruiserweight division.

Of the step up in class to fighting Joshua, Usyk, who bizarrely performed a juggling routine during the public workout at the O2, said: “It is the biggest fight of my career. My opponent is the biggest challenge, an Olympic champion and he has three titles.

“I am confident of beating Joshua even though he has a combination of factors. I know that as a London Olympic gold medallist, like myself, and a British world heavyweight champion, he was made to be a superstar. But I have no nerves about fighting him. Why would I?”

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