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Oleksandr Usyk says Anthony Joshua title fight “should have happened a year ago”

Joshua meets Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a heavyweight title clash, but the former cruiserweight champion thinks the fight should have happened last year

Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk – the tale of the tape

Anthony Joshua puts his heavyweight titles on the line tonight against Oleksandr Usyk, but Ukrainian thinks the fight should have happened a year ago.

Joshua and Usyk will meet tonight in front of 67,000 fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

The former unified cruiserweight champion Usyk will hope to follow the footsteps of Evander Holyfield and David Haye in becoming a cruiserweight and heavyweight champion.

Usyk has fought twice at heavyweight, stopping Chazz Witherspoon in his debut and outpointing Derek Chisora last October.

And Usyk thinks his fight against Joshua should have happened sooner, stating: “This fight with Anthony was overdue.



Joshua and Usyk weigh in ahead of their fight
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Image:

Action Images via Reuters)




“It should have happened a year ago, but it was God’s will that it’s happening [now] and I’m happy about it.”

“I’m focusing on becoming a champion in the heavyweight division. I’m not motivated by money or titles or belts.”

Joshua fights for the first time since silencing Kubrat Pulev last December, defend his four heavyweight belts with a late stoppage win.

‘AJ’ was supposed to fight WBC champion Tyson Fury in August, but an arbitration judge scrapped the unification fight when he ruled in favour of Fury’s trilogy against Deontay Wilder.

He claimed that he doesn’t have a gameplan for his fight against Usyk and just plans to give his best in the ring.

He said: “There is no game plan. It’s win, because you never know what’s gonna happen when the first bell goes. My gameplan is to pray and just give it my best.

“That’s the best gameplan any man can have is to visualize, pray, meditate on it and give your best. That’s my gameplan.

Who wins tonight, Joshua or Usyk? Let us know in the comments section below

Usyk weighed in at a career-high 221 lbs but Joshua will still have a massive weight, height and reach advantage on the night.

And ‘AJ’ said he isn’t sure of the reception he will get despite fighting in front of his home crowd.

He said: “For me, I don’t know what to expect, whether it’s going to be boos or cheers. But it’s nice that people have come out for a good time, even Usyk got cheers as well.

“It’s just a fight, I’m not someone that’s gonna be disrespectful unless someone is disrespectful towards me. I respect the man, he’s achieved phenomenal things. What more can I say other than good luck to him this weekend.

“People know it’s going to be a good night of boxing. As I always say, as long as boxing’s winning, we’re all winning.”

Brits Lawrence Okolie, Callum Smith and Campbell Hatton will also all be in action on the stacked undercard of the event.


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