Oleksandr Usyk enters his August 20 rematch with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. But he is under no illusions about how demanding the first defense of his IBF, WBO and WBA titles will be.
Many expect him to repeat his victory over Joshua this Saturday, broadcast live in the UK and Ireland Sky Sports box office. But Usyk himself takes nothing for granted.
“The difference is I’ll be bringing the belts with me,” he said. “I will walk second, people will wait for me.
“But I do realize that when I step into the ring in the position of a champion, it doesn’t make me feel like it’s going to be easier and it’s not going to be easier in the ring,” Usyk said. Sky Sports News.
“I realize that I have to do my job properly and it will not be an easy task for me.”
Joshua is taller, heavier and a serious puncher, promising a new destructive approach for this second fight.
Ukraine’s Usyk admitted he expects to be heavier for this rematch than in the first fight. This could be taken as a sign that Usyk intends to hold his own and go for the knockout on Saturday.
However, he did not give anything away. “I won’t tell you much about my strategy,” Usyk maintained. “I’m a little heavier than last time.
“I’m not sure what weight I’ll be walking into the ring, we’ll see on Friday [at the weigh-in].
“I’m not a great prognosticator,” he added. “You’ll see Saturday night, I’ll just do my job, what I have to do.”
What Usyk means is winning. Enter this fight with a message for the world. As Ukraine resists Russian invasion, Usyk wants to represent his country on a global stage.
Usyk has his own foundation to support civilians during the war.
“It’s important because the war is going on and we have to help people. Whether they need food, we supply them with food. Whether they need anything else, we have to help them. Because this is something that is happening in our hearts and our mission is to stay positive and keep others positive,” Usyk said.
“I have a group of people who work hard to find families in need. Maybe they need some kind of house to live in, some food to support, maybe some money to spend for their families. They’re looking for these people, they’re looking at what their needs are and they help meet their needs, this is something they do every day and this is something that will be done in the future because this is actually the mission of the foundation.
“I want to help my people and my country and Saturday night will be a little party for them, maybe a big party.
“I will do my best,” he insisted, “to give the best performance I can.”
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Anthony Joshua’s big rematch against Oleksandr Usyk will be on Saturday 20 August, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book Usyk vs Joshua 2 now!
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