Ukrainian challenger Oleksandr Usyk has dismissed concerns that he does not possess the size and strength to take out Anthony Joshua, saying that the “power is in your spirit”.
The Briton will put his IBF, WBA and WBO belts on the line on Saturday against the undefeated Usyk, a former cruiserweight who is 18-0 in his professional career.
“People talk a lot… we’ll see on Saturday what happens… because the power is in your spirit, it’s not about being big or small,” said Usyk, who has fought only twice before as a heavyweight.
While new to the heavyweight division, Usyk tore through the cruiserweight class after turning pro eight years ago, becoming one of boxing’s rare unified champions in 2018 by winning all four belts in the category.
“… David Haye was three times smaller than Nikolai Valuev which shows that it doesn’t matter,” he said. The 34-year-old added that he expected a chess match in the initial rounds of the bout.
Joshua, who last fought in December 2020 when he knocked out Bulgarian challenger Kubrat Pulev, was slated to take on compatriot Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia this year but the fight was cancelled after an American arbitrator ordered Fury to take on Deontay Wilder in a third bout.
“This fight gives me the motivation to practise. I want to give more and more each day. I’m still in camp now, this is just another day in camp… if you tell me I was fighting King Kong I would give it a go. This is my job,” he said, before the bout at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
When is Joshua vs Usyk?
Saturday, September 25.
What time does the fight start?
As London is the host city, UK fans can expect the main event to get under way at around 10.30pm.