Donald McRae reports that Joshua weighed in for tonight’s fight at 240lb – the second lightest he’s been since 2014. Usyk registered 221lb on the scales for one of the most eagerly-awaited bouts in years:
Could this prove to be one of the most demanding fights of Anthony Joshua’s career? Many people seem to think so, even if the odds appear to significantly favour the British fighter, with the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk having stepped up to the heavyweight division from his natural home at cruiserweight.
There has certainly been no shortage of pre-fight hype, and the nearly 70,000 fans who will pack into Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and pay-per-view watchers around the world are thus hoping for plenty of bang for their buck. Usyk is highly regarded to say the least – he unified the cruiserweight champion with four different belts before vacating his titles to move up to heavyweight. He stopped Tony Bellew at cruiserweight in 2018 before outlasting and out-pointing heavyweight Derek Chisora at Wembley in October last year. “I’m coming for you, Anthony,” Usyk declared after beating Chisora, a success which saw him become the mandatory WBO challenger for Joshua’s title. And here he is.
As the bigger man and the more accomplished fighter at heavyweight, Joshua will expect to prevail, but if the 34-year-old southpaw Usyk can stay in the contest and take it deep into the later rounds, the smart money may well be on a points decision in favour of this dangerous challenger. Joshua may be looking for the finisher nice and early, so it could well be spectacular right from the start. Pre-fight reading and more coming right up.