Usyk and Joshua went head-to-head at a press conference in Jeddah on Tuesday, and were mobbed by fans afterward as they filmed a promo video for their world title rematch
The unified world heavyweight champion, 35, was in Saudi Arabia to launch his highly-anticipated rematch with Joshua, which is set for August 20 at the Jeddah Superdome. He and his British rival, 32, took part in a number of promotional events in the region to push the show, which is expecting a crowd in the region of 40,000.
They participated in a photoshoot that almost doubled as a sort of open workout, with fans lining the streets to watch the pair take part in a makeshift ring. They went head-to-head and, after the photos were done, Usyk came out to dance and meet with fans in the city.
Joshua didn’t get as animated with his fans but did meet supporters, shaking hands and posing for selfies with them. He and Usyk are now set to come to London on Wednesday for a press conference before returning to camp for final preparations.
The Brit has brought in a new trainer in Robert Garcia, who has flown from his Californian training base to London to run camp for the two-time champion. Meanwhile, Usyk has been working in Dubai to get acclimatised to the Middle Eastern summer heat after leaving Ukraine, where he was fighting for his country on the front lines following the Russian invasion.
“I am very happy to be here in Saudi Arabia,” Usyk said ahead of the fight, which will see the fighters split a massive purse 50-50. “It is very pleasant for me and my team.
“We are doing what we have to do to achieve our goals. I have never made any loud or bright speeches. To become World Champion all I did was work hard in my training camp and gym. That’s what I am going to do until the day of the fight and my boxing will make me happy.”
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Joshua was slightly more vocal, declaring himself the “comeback king” and insisting that he has pulled out all the stops in order to get set for becoming a three-weight world champion. “Definitely the hunger is still there,” he said at the press conference.
“As I always said from the get-go, stay hungry. Just keep the motivation high. Blips happen. Things happen in life but resilience, mental toughness and consistency will always prevail. We’re still on the road to Undisputed for sure. It’s just a little blip in the road but I’m focused on the target which is sitting over there.
“I’m the comeback king; you can put me down but it’s difficult to keep me down. Even through my tough times, everything will make sense in the long run.”