Anthony Joshua/Oleksandr Usyk In Respectable First Stare Down


World Boxing Organization, WBO, champion, Anthony Joshua had their first stare down meet and press conference this Thursday ahead of their heavyweight bout at the Tottenham Stadium on Saturday night. While the Ukranian came in dressed in a red suit with a yellow tie that makes him look like the Joker from Batman, the champion wore a black sportswear with a matching face cap and boomer music head piece strung across his neck. He was looking very relaxed.
Both maintained respectable stance, with a little but respectable bump after attempting to stare each other down before parting with a handshake that looked intense.
At the press conference, Usyk gave a hint of what boxing fans should look out for on Saturday. Obviously, his is going to be very tactical approach which he likens to a chess game.
“I think, at first, it will be chess,” he told the BBC.
Expanding further, the Ukranian explained that even if it were to be true that he has size and power advantage, which he inferred is neither here nor there, he is sure all talks about what people think. He is certain Saturday will provide the answer.
“People talk a lot. They say the truth or they don’t say the truth. It’s all talk. We will see on Saturday,” he promised.
For emphasis, Usyk drew a reference to the David Haye/Nikolai Valuev encounter in which the former was three times smaller.
“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 explained.
On his part, Joshua described every moment leading up to the encounter on Saturday as the best he can think of so far in his life. Apparently going philosophical, the champion explained there is a reason the fight is taking place and promise it has to be quick.
“These are the best days of my life. I’m not an easy fight for anyone. I like fighting…If you told me I was fighting Kingkong, I’d give it a go,” he said.
But asked if the fight will go beyond round three, Joshua said, instinct will take over if it goes beyond three adding however, that he is certain he will come out tops in the end.
“I can out-box him. Of course, I can. And I can out-strength him,” he promised.
Generally however, the stare down and press conference were characterized with exchange of banters. And a bit of humour was thrown into the fray when Usyk thanked Joshua “for daring to accept the toughest challenge of his career”, apparently referring to Joshua’s earlier claim that he is up to any fight.
But it was McCracken, Joshua’s trainer who took the acknowledgement responsibility when he quipped;
“Anthony will fight any anybody available. He always does,” McCraken said.
Trust Joshua not to let it go without his word.
“I wasn’t on the amateur scene for long enough to know about Olegsandr. But I do a lot of research and really love the Ukranian style and Ukranian people. I met Wladimir Klitschko who was a phenomenal champion.”
At the Tottenham stadium on Saturday, the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight title belts will be on the table for the taking. While Joshua will be looking forward to keeping the belts, and move on tp fight Tyson Fury just so he could be crowned the undisputed champion if he comes through in the fight, his opponent will be attempting to snatch them over and become the third boxer to ever come up in history, after Evander Holyfield and David Haye, to win titles at Cruiserweight and Heavyweight.
Saturday is just a few hours away.

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