Oleksandr Usyk is currently training out in Jeddah, but he’s not in Saudi Arabia for the hot weather and a cheeky holiday, oh no, he’s out there to help promote and prepare for his rematch with Anthony Joshua, which is set to take place later this year on August 20.
Usyk defeated AJ in their first fight back in September of last year at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium over the course of 12 rounds, taking his heavyweight belts in the process.
It was a schooling, in truth, from the Ukrainian, as the Brit simply had no answer to his opponent’s clever boxing. In fact, if there was another round, most boxing fans believe it would’ve ended in a knockout in favour of the challenger.
But that’s all in the past now, and all eyes are on the future and Saudi Arabia in August.
The pair of fighters have recently shown off their muscle-bound physiques ahead of their second fight, with an intense face-off taking place to conclude their first press conference. Not only that, though, they also came face-to-face for a promo video.
Usyk is undergoing a high pressure training regime and the pictures of his bulky body show just how much weight he’s put on since the first fight. He now looks like a proper heavyweight.
Take a look at his new frame in the shots posted by Matchroom Boxing below.
If he can keep his boxing IQ and also add power to his punches, Joshua could be in serious trouble come August 20.
But it hasn’t been all plain sailing in preparation for this rematch for Usyk. The 35-year-old had to be given special exemption from military duties by his country to prepare for his upcoming fight. Of course, this is related to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Usyk will, however, put his titles on the line for the rematch and he’ll expect a tough fight as AJ has a reputation of winning his rematches.
Joshua won his one and only rematch so far against Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, which also took place in Saudi Arabia, and he’ll be hoping to do the same in his second fight with Usyk.
On Tuesday, Usyk and Joshua went head-to-head for the first time since their rematch was scheduled and pictures of the Ukrainian being beefier have since emerged.
Joshua and his new trainer have both spoken about putting things right and correcting what went wrong in the first fight last year. However, Usyk is looking seriously beefed up this time around, suggesting he could be hunting for a knockout this time around.
All will be revealed come August.