Speaking during Wednesday’s final press conference, Oleksandr Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, has listed off some staggering stats from Usyk’s training camp that are bad news for Anthony Joshua. Klimas claims that Usyk has ridden a bicycle for 100km in 45-degree heat, swam for five hours, and held his breath under water for four minutes and forty seconds and believes this will be the decider on fight night.
He said: “I’m so proud to represent Usyk. I’ve never seen anyone in 45-degree heat ride a bike for 100 km. I’ve never seen anyone swim the day before a press conference in London for five hours. I’ve never seen anyone hold their breath under water for four minutes and 40 seconds, almost passing away, shaking himself. I hope all of this is going to be helping him on Saturday night.”
Usyk’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, is in agreement that the former undisputed cruiserweight world champion is in wicked shape and has likened him to a ‘cyborg’.
“When we watched Usyk’s videos from training camp, we realised he looks like a cyborg.,” said Krassyuk during the same press conference. “He went through hell in the last few months. It didn’t kill him but made him stronger. He’s never been more determined than now. Not many champions in the world can go through a war and make their way to the ring to defend their crown. It was an extremely complicated challenge for him, but he’s passed it well. People want him to fight, people want him to win, people want the Ukrainian flag to rise.”
When the man himself got to speak, Usyk gave his thoughts on the bout and affirmed that he expects a similar contest with proceedings to continue from where they were left off.
He said: “He learned from me, I learned from him. I don’t think it will be all-new, the last bout will continue the round 13, 14 and 15. We had enough time to study each other. This Saturday will be a great, great fight. We were born to compete, for life, belts, for anything. The one who does not compete does not live. All our lives are competition, for anything, something, for somebody. That’s why we’re competing.”
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Speaking of that competitive spirit and his position as a challenger rather than a champion, Joshua responded: “It’s tough, but I’m relishing the challenge. Let’s get the job done, instinct, stay focused and god willing, I’ll be victorious.”
“It’s competition, I have goals, I need to be disciplined to follow through. It’s competition with myself, the belts mean something, but that’s at the end. I’ll focus on the process first and foremost. I want to compete. I have a competitive spirit.”
Joshua and Usyk square off again this Saturday at the King Abdullah Sport City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia live on Sky Sports Box Office. Featured on the undercard is an IBF heavyweight final eliminator bout between Filip Hrgovic and Zhang Zhilei for a chance to face the winner of the main event. While elsewhere on the bill, Callum Smith, Ramla Ali and Badou Jack are all in action.