Sports

Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk share long, intense face-off as they meet for first time since their fight and preview rematch in Saudi Arabia


Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk came face-to-face for the first time since their fight as they met at a press conference to preview their rematch in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

The heavyweights shared a long and intense face-off at the end of the media event for the August 20 fight, with neither man wanting to look away first.

Usyk and AJ had a two-minute face-off

Matchroom Boxing

Usyk and AJ had a two-minute face-off

They refused to break eye contact

Matchroom Boxing

They refused to break eye contact

Promoter Eddie Hearn made two attempts to get the fighters to face the front for photos, but neither budged.

Then AJ himself pointed to the front, signalling for Usyk to look away.

However, the Ukrainian refused to do so and eventually, after almost two minutes, Joshua turned his head and broke his opponent’s gaze.

At the press conference itself, Joshua said: “Definitely the hunger’s still there.

“Blips happen, but resilience, mental toughness, consistency will prevail.

“I’m focussed on the target sitting over there.

AJ told Usyk to turn away

Matchroom Boxing

AJ told Usyk to turn away

Usyk turned his body, but retained eye contact

Matchroom Boxing

Usyk turned his body, but retained eye contact

Joshua was first to turn his head

Matchroom Boxing

Joshua was first to turn his head

“God willing I’ll perform and become three-time heavyweight champion of the world.”

He added: “The fight with Usyk, he bust my a*** for some rounds and I had to take that defeat like a man as well.

“I hold myself accountable.

“In the fight in September I was wrong and he was right, I have to reverse that August 20…

“We have to give him, his team credit where credit’s due.

“I respect him and his craft and what he’s acheived.

“If I’m around someone that’s better than me on the night, I have to push myself to be better than them.

“The great thing is I’ve got a second chance.”

Both men spoke well at the presser

Matchroom Boxing

Both men spoke well at the presser

Usyk said: “I am very happy I’m here.

“I am very happy my next fight is gonna happen. It’s a big honour for me to be here.

“As we all know, we are not in the best conditions at the moment back at home, but we are doing what we have to do, we are doing our job, working hard to achieve our goals.

“I never made any loud and bright speeches.

“All I did is I just work hard in my training camp in my gym, that’s what I’m gonna do until the fight.

“And then I will enter the ring and I will make you happy with my boxing, thank you.”

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