LONDON (AP) — So much for Anthony Joshua slimming down to counter the speed of Oleksandr Usyk in their world heavyweight title fight.
Joshua, who is defending his WBA, IBF and WBO belts against Usyk on Saturday, tipped the scales at 240 pounds (109kg) at the weigh-in in London on Friday. That’s the same as he was for his last fight, against Kubrat Pulev in December.
“I don’t really watch my weight. I don’t know why there is a big thing about weight,” Joshua said. “Maybe because we are heavyweights so people look at us at our heaviest.”
Usyk, a former undisputed world cruiserweight champion, will be giving up 19 pounds (9 kilograms) on Joshua despite being heavier than he was for his two fights since moving up to the heavyweight division in 2019.
The challenger from Ukraine weighed 221 pounds (100kg). He is also giving up height (7.6 centimeters) and reach (10 centimeters) to Joshua for a fight that will be in front of more than 60,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Usyk is known for his impressive movement and technique inside the ring, ever since starring as an amateur and winning gold in the heavyweight category at the London Olympics in 2012. Joshua also won gold, at super-heavyweight, the very next day.
Both fighters looked relaxed at the weigh-in, shaking hands and patting each other on the arm after the stare-down. They pointed to each others’ physiques as they posed for the cameras.
“Respect? Fear? It’s just a fight.” Joshua said. “I’m not someone who will be disrespectful unless someone is disrespectful to me.
“I respect the man. He has achieved phenomenal things.”
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