Joshua vs Usyk press conference LIVE: Latest updates as heavyweights meet ahead of fight

“I wouldn’t want to be in a ring with me” Joshua fears for Usyk

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the final press conference for Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk for the unified world heavyweight titles this Saturday.

This mouthwatering dust-up, which will be for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, is set to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It promises to be a thrilling night in London and we are just over 48 hours away from finding out who comes out victorious with Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder set to follow in two weeks as the heavyweight landscape becomes clearer.

Today, Joshua and Usyk will come face-to-face for the first time since the fight was made as they begin the sizing-up process. They will also take questions about one another, although neither man is notorious for trash talking their opponents, though there were unexpected fireworks when Canelo Alvarez met Caleb Plant this week, so you never know.

There will no doubt be some subtle mind games played this afternoon though as fight day draws closer. Many are calling Usyk too small to deal with a heavyweight the size of Joshua. Others are saying Usyk possesses the boxing skill and nimbleness needed to frustrate the champion and cause a seismic upset.

The real build-up starts today as we get a good look at both fighters. Do not go anywhere as we will bring you live updates from everything that is said and seen from the press conference before tomorrow’s weigh-in:

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Oleksandr Usyk: ‘I’ve been watching Anthony Joshua for a long time. I won’t be nervous’

Oleksandr Usyk, boxing’s most successful road warrior, has won world title fights in Gdansk, Berlin, Riga, Inglewood, Maryland, Moscow and Manchester but for him London will always be his “lucky place”.

The Ukrainian southpaw has this week returned to the capital in preparation for Saturday’s clash with IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. And, although it was the man with the belts who grew up just a tube ride away from the Tottenham High Road, Usyk will be feeling similarly at home.

Like Joshua, the 34-year-old capped a superb amateur career by clinching gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games and won his final – in the 91kg heavyweight division – on the very same weekend that Joshua did the same up at super-heavy. Both men have said this week that they never realised they were on a collision course.

But after Joshua’s much-discussed unification with WBC champion Tyson Fury fell out of bed, the Londoner decided to take care of his WBO mandatory challenger Usyk instead of relinquishing the title entirely.

Jack Rathborn23 September 2021 10:59

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Joshua vs Usyk prize money: How much will fighters earn for heavyweight fight?

But Joshua faces an extremely tough task as he comes up against the unbeaten Usyk, who is an Olympic gold medallist and former undisputed cruiserweight champion.

The Ukrainian has already beaten one British world champion in Tony Bellew, stopping him in the eighth round of their fight back in 2018.

But Joshua will be confident his size and strength can overwhelm Usyk, who is widely regarded as a pound-for-pound star.

Here is what you need to know about the fighters purses for the clash this weekend.

Jack Rathborn23 September 2021 10:59