Anthony Joshua’s challenger and Olympic gold medallist, Oleksandr Usyk, has warned that his body size should not be underestimated when he squares off against the WBO, IBF, WBA, IBO heavyweight champion on Saturday.
The fight with Joshua will take place before a hostile crowd of over 60,000 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Usyk is the smaller man, who moved up from the cruiserweight ranks in 2019.
The Russian dominated the cruiserweight ranks and unified the entire weight class in 2018 – when he won a lopsided twelve round unanimous decision over Murat Gassiev in the final round of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament.
With regards to history of the heavyweight division, Usyk has no concerns regarding any size or power difference – and points to David Haye’s decision to move up to heavyweight and his eventual big win to capture the WBA title from a 7’1, 300+ pound Nikolai Valuev.
“I think, at first, it will be chess,” Usyk said.
“People talk a lot. They say the truth, or they don’t say the truth. It’s all talk. We will see on Saturday what happens.
“The power is not about whether someone is big or small. It’s in your spirit. David Haye was three times smaller than Nikolai Valuev which shows that it doesn’t matter,” he added.
Joshua is not underestimating Usyk and anticipates a tough contest.
“These are the best days of my life.
“I’m not an easy fight for anyone. I like fighting. There has to be a reason why I’m here. It has been quick. There has to be a reason. If you told me I was fighting King Kong, I’d give it a go,” Joshua said.