Usyk vs AJ: Oleksandr Usyk weighs in marginal career heaviest ahead of Anthony Joshua world title defence

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Oleksandr Usyk was only marginally heavier for his rematch with Anthony Joshua, despite rumours of a sizeable weight gain, as the two rivals shared a 107-second stare down on the stage ahead of Saturday’s fight in Saudi Arabia.

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, who had entered the first meeting 17st 2lbs (240lbs), also built on his previous weight as he came in 17st, 6lbs and 8oz.

Training footage and speculation throughout the build-up had pointed towards a significant bulk-up on Usyk’s part in anticipation of a more aggressive, front-foot Joshua in contrast to the two-time world champion’s foiled plans to match his opponent’s technical prowess in the opening fight.

“You see your expectations are not always met,” said Usyk afterwards.

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Usyk gives his thoughts after a very intense weigh-in and face-off against Joshua, ahead of their crunch rematch

Where the two had exchanged pleasantries ahead of their opening exchange in London, there was an icy feel to proceedings as the rivals shared an extended face-off.

“I always say for me personally face-offs don’t mean nothing. Just about the bell ringing and us throwing leather, face-offs don’t win fights,” said Joshua on stage.

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Joshua gives his reaction to his intense face-off with Usyk, with the pair now just a day away from their highly-anticipated rematch

“I’ll be honest all this stuff doesn’t matter, it’s just about the fight. Weight, face-offs, none of it matters to me, just looking forward to the fight.

“I’m just ready for 12 rounds, 100 per cent, anything short of that is a bonus.”

Usyk was 15st 5lbs (215lbs) for his first fight after moving from cruiserweight to heavyweight against Chazz Witherspoon, before rising to 15st 7lbs (217¼lbs) against Derek Chisora and 15st 11lbs (221¼lbs) in his world title clash with Joshua.

His career lightest stands at 198¼lbs in his cruiserweight days, which he fought at on more than one occasion and most recently in his win over Tony Bellew in 2018.

Image: Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk

Prior to September’s defeat, Joshua had fought Kubrat Pulev at 17st 2lbs 13oz (240.8lbs) after reclaiming his world titles against Andy Ruiz at 16st 13lbs (237lbs).

Earlier on the undercard weigh-in, Callum Smith cut a confident figure on the scales at 12 stone, 6lb and 11oz ahead of his light heavyweight contest against Mathieu Bauderlique (12st 6lb, 8oz).

“I feel good, I feel strong at this weight, hopefully I can take the confidence into the ring,” said Smith. “I’ve got new goals and that’s to become a two-weight champion. I feel very good, I think when I’m good I can beat anybody in the world.”

Filip Hrgovic was the lighter man at 17st 4lb 15oz ahead of his IBF world heavyweight title eliminator against China’s Zhilei Zhang, who was just over 19st 11lbs.

Olympic silver medallist Ben Whittaker meanwhile weighed in at 12st, 5lb 12oz as he prepares to face Petar Nosic.

Anthony Joshua’s huge heavyweight rematch against Oleksandr Usyk is on Saturday August 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book Usyk vs Joshua 2 now!

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