Undefeated Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion and current top heavyweight contender, arrived in London on Monday for Saturday’s mega-showdown versus WBA/WBO/IBF World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
The 34-year-old Usyk, long considered one of the best fighters in the world, will be facing the toughest opponent of his career in the 31-year-old Joshua. Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) dominated the cruiserweight rankings but has had only two fights at heavyweight thus far. Last October, he won a 12-round unanimous decision over veteran Dereck Chisora.
The Ukranian now faces Joshua, who will be making the second defense of his unified crown–and doing so in his hometown. Joshua lost his titles by stunning knockout defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. in his US debut on June 1, 2019. He would regain them in their rematch, easily outpointing Ruiz in December 2019 in Saudi Arabia. He retained that title in 2020, knocking out Kubrat Pulev in nine rounds.
Both Joshua and Usyk are Olympic gold medalists, which suggests this is a battle between two high-pedigree boxers. A packed crowd is expected in London to witness one of the most important fights of the year.
–photo credit: Mark Robinson