When Oleksandr Usyk starts his ring walk on Saturday evening, it will be the culmination of a five-year dream to face Anthony Joshua for the Ukrainian.
Usyk had just broken Evander Hollyfield’s record for most consecutive bouts to earn a cruiserweight championship belt. He called out the Brit on Saturday evening in 2016.
Joshua was also making a name in the professional ranks. He had just taken the IBF Heavyweight title away from Charles Martin.
Usyk was fascinated by the Brit and called him the ‘best Heavyweight in the World’.
The then cruiserweight told RingTV.com that Joshua would be the fighter he would like to face in the future.
“I think that would be a very, very interesting bout,” Usyk began, through his translator and manager Egis Klimas.
“And of course, anytime I’m thinking of that — two good fighters, fighting for the heavyweight title – it would be very interesting.”
Usyk stated that he would not bulk for Joshua, instead he talked about his desire just to make the cut in the heavyweight class.
“I’m not going to bulk up,” The Ukrainian added.
“I’m going to be exactly 100 kilograms. I think that’s going to be enough.”
Which fighter do you think will win between Usyk & Joshua? Let us know in the comments section
While Usyk’s dream of facing Joshua has come true, the Ukrainian was wrong about his weight prediction.
Usyk was 15st11lbs (221lbs) when he weighed in at the scales. This is the heaviest weight he has ever been weighed in for a fight.
Usyk had predicted Usyk would be 200lbs five years ago. This is 21 pounds less than Usyk reached on Friday afternoon.
Joshua, on the other hand, tipped the scales at a solid 17st2lbs (240lbs) – slightly heavier than he was for his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.
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Usyk unification the cruiserweight category before he made the leap to the 2019 ‘land for the giants’.
He has defeated Chazz Witherspoon, and Derek Chisora in their two heavyweight bouts.