When Oleksandr Usyk starts his ring walk on Saturday evening, it will be the culmination of a five-year dream to face Anthony Joshua for the Ukrainian.
When Usyk called out the Brit in 2016, he had just broken Evander Hollyfield’s record for the most number of fights required to win a cruiserweight title.
Joshua was also making a name in the professional ranks. He had just won the IBF Heavyweight title, which Charles Martin had previously held.
Usyk was fascinated by the Brit and called him the ‘best Heavyweight in the World’.
The then cruiserweight told RingTV.com that Joshua would be the fighter he would like to face in the future.
“I think that would be a very, very interesting bout,” Usyk began, through his translator and manager Egis Klimas.
“And of course, anytime I’m thinking of that — two good fighters, fighting for the heavyweight title – it would be very interesting.”
Usyk said he would not bulk to fight Joshua. Instead, he talked about his desire to make it to the heavyweight division.
“I’m not going to bulk up,” The Ukrainian added.
“I’m going to be exactly 100 kilograms. I think that’s going to be enough.”
Which fighter do you think will win between Usyk & Joshua? Let us know in the comments section
While Usyk’s dream of facing Joshua has come true, the Ukrainian was wrong about his weight prediction.
Usyk, who weighed 15st11lbs (221lbs), was the heaviest person he had ever seen for a fight.
Usyk’s prediction of Usyk’s weight in heavyweight five years ago was 200lbs. Usyk weighed in at 21lbs less on Friday afternoon.
Joshua, on the other hand, tipped the scales at a solid 17st2lbs (240lbs) – slightly heavier than he was for his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.
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Usyk unification the cruiserweight category before he made the leap to the 2019 ‘land for the giants’.
He has defeated Chazz Witherspoon, Derek Chisora and more in his two heavyweight bouts.