Oleksandr Usyk's promoter Alex Krassyuk has said a much-anticipated fight with Tyson Fury for all four of the world heavyweight titles is "in the making".

Usyk was a split-decision victor in his rematch against Anthony Joshua on Saturday in Jeddah, retaining the WBA, IBF and WBO belts that he took off the same opponent at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year.

It means that the Ukrainian would now just need the WBC belt to make him only the second fighter in the four-belt era behind Claressa Shields to become undisputed in two different weight classes, having already held all four titles in the cruiserweight division.

That WBC belt belongs to Fury, who has not been in the ring since April when he defended his strap by stopping Dillian Whyte with a brutal uppercut in the sixth round at Wembley.

Fury has since claimed to be retired, but it appears that he could be tempted back into the ring to face Usyk and crown an undisputed champion in the heavyweight division, after telling his Instagram followers he would "annihilate" both Usyk and Joshua following the conclusion of their rematch.

And Usyk's promoter Krassyuk is confident the fight between the two undefeated titleholders will happen, telling Sky Sports on Tuesday: "It's in the making."

Speaking on Monday, meanwhile, Fury's co-promoter Frank Warren also indicated he is confident of the Briton getting in the ring with Usyk.

"[Fury] and Usyk would be a really good fight," Warren told BBC Radio 5 Live. "It's a fight that I think will be made because both teams would like to see that happen.

"Usyk said after the fight that it's the only fight he's interested in, and it's certainly the same case with Tyson. It's just a matter of where it will generate the most income because it's a unique fight, a historic fight."



WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman would welcome a unification bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk and believes such a fight could even take place before the end of the year.

Usyk produced a near-perfect display to record a split-decision victory over Anthony Joshua in Jeddah on Saturday, retaining the WBA, IBF and WBO belts he took from the Briton in London last year.

Having retained his undefeated professional record with a 20th victory in as many fights, Usyk declared his intention to fight Fury, saying: "I'm sure Tyson Fury isn't retired yet. I'm sure he wants to fight me. I want to fight him. If I'm not fighting Tyson Fury, I'm not fighting at all."

Fury has repeatedly flip-flopped on his boxing future, calling out Derek Chisora earlier this month before ruling out a return to the ring just three days later.

In the aftermath of Usyk's win over Joshua, however, Fury told his Instagram followers he would "annihilate" both fighters before declaring that the "Gypsy King is here to stay forever".

Sulaiman is excited by the prospect of Fury, who is unbeaten in 33 professional bouts, returning to face the Ukrainian.

"Tyson Fury is a unique man, his personality, his thinking is unique so I respect that, I respect him," Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

"He has been so loyal to the WBC, he has been so representative and proud of the WBC. I just hope that he makes the right decision, whichever it is.

"If he decides to hang up the gloves and retire, what a great way to do it, with money, with health, with his beautiful family.

"But if he has that hunger of going into the ring, which I believe is the case, it would be great to see him represent the WBC in a fight with Usyk or other championship fights he could have in the near future."

Sulaiman also revealed Fury has until Friday to confirm whether he intends to vacate the WBC heavyweight title after his latest retirement claims, and stated his belief fans may not have to wait long to see the two champions in action.

"Tyson Fury is the WBC champion of the world, he's not holding the 'other belt', he's holding the WBC championship, which is the championship of Muhammed Ali, George Foreman, [Joe] Frazier, [Mike] Tyson, Lennox Lewis etc," Sulaiman said.

"I'm very proud of Tyson Fury, he's a tremendous fighter and I am sure he wishes to continue boxing and a fight to unify all the championships in the division would be tremendous."

Sulaiman said Fury was free to make his own choice, adding: "But my personal opinion is that boxing is going through a great stage, a great moment, it will be great to see Fury against Usyk in the ultimate unification of the division.

"We are in August, there is still time to finalise and close up the year, or early next year."

Sulaiman said a tussle between Usyk and Fury at this stage in their careers would be "a momentous, huge event".

A heavyweight unification bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk "will be made", says promoter Frank Warren, who also did not discount the possibility of an all-British bout between Fury and Anthony Joshua.

Usyk retained his WBA, WBO and IBF titles, and also claimed the Ring Magazine belt with a split-decision victory over Joshua on Saturday to take his record to 20 professional bouts undefeated.

WBC champion Fury appeared to reaffirm his retiremenet ahead of the fight, but subsequently suggested promoters and fans "get [their] cheque book out" after the Ukrainian's win.

Warren, who handles Fury's bouts, has suggested the pair could square off next - and finally deliver the division's first undsputed champion since 1999.

"He and Usyk would be a really good fight," Warren told BBC Radio 5 Live. "It's a fight that I think will be made because both teams would like to see that happen."

Britain's Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield to become the last undisputed heavyweight champion over two decades ago, but there has not been a bout with all four belts on the line since the WBO title was included in 2007.

"Usyk said after the fight that it's the only fight he's interested in, and it's certainly the same case with Tyson," Warren added.

"It's just a matter of where it will generate the most income because it's a unique fight, a historic fight.

"It's the first time for God knows how long that the four belts are on the line. Both fighters are undefeated. The whole world of boxing will be captivated by this fight."

Warren has also not ruled out seeing the long-awaited clash between Fury and Joshua, though the likelihood of such a fight following the latter's third defeat in his past five fights seems questionable.

Joshua first lost the WBA, WBO and IBF titles to Andy Ruiz Jr, though despite winning them back in the rematch, subsequently lost them to Usyk again last year.

The prospect of an all-British unification bout between Joshua and Fury was floated at multiple points during their reigns but ultimately never materialised, and Warren said Joshua will have to win some more fights before he can be considered a contender for Fury.

"If AJ manages to get a couple of wins under his belt - and I believe Tyson will beat Usyk - that may be a fight to be made," Warren added. "But AJ's got to re-establish himself before you can even think about fights like that."

Anthony Joshua admitted emotions got the better of him after he launched an impassioned rant in the aftermath of his split-decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk.

Usyk outclassed Joshua to clinch the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in London last year, and produced another polished performance to deal the 32-year-old a further defeat in Jeddah on Saturday.

While Joshua's improved display saw one judge surprisingly score the fight 115-113 in his favour, Usyk retained his titles after the other two adjudged him to be the victor of an absorbing bout.

Joshua responded to the defeat in bizarre fashion, throwing the Ukrainian's belts to the ground before returning to the ring to give a speech in which he discussed his background and hailed Usyk's abilities.

Joshua, who has lost three of his last five fights, subsequently declared: "When you're angry you do stupid things."

On Sunday, he moved to explain his actions.

"I wish Oleksandr Usyk continued success in your quest for greatness. You are a class act champ," he wrote on Twitter.

"Yesterday I had to mentally take myself into a dark place to compete for the championship belts! I had two fights, one with Usyk and one with my emotions and both got the better of me.

"I'll be the first to admit, I let myself down. I acted out of pure passion and emotion and when not controlled it ain't great.

"I love this sport so so much and I'll be better from this point on. Respect."

Usyk declared a desire to face Tyson Fury after sealing impressive back-to-back wins over Johsua, saying: "I'm sure he wants to fight me. I want to fight him. If I'm not fighting Tyson Fury, I'm not fighting at all."

Anthony Joshua insisted he is a "fighter for a life" with a "hunger that never dies" amid speculation over his future after another defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.

Usyk outclassed the Briton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year, claiming the WBA, IBF and WBO belts.

The Ukrainian was challenged more in the rematch in Jeddah on Saturday, but produced a near-perfect display in the later rounds to defend his world heavyweight champion status with a split-decision victory.

One judge scored the fight 115-113 in Joshua's favour, while another had the same result for Usyk, with the third decisively awarding Usyk a 116-112 success.

An enraged Joshua picked up the belts after the fight before throwing them down, prior to returning to the ring to launch a bizarre yet impassioned rant on his background and Usyk's skills.

Joshua has now lost three of his past five fights, all of them for world titles, and could not hide his emotions at the post-fight press conference.

"It's really, really hard for me to say I'm proud of myself," he said. "I'm upset, really, deep down in my heart."

On his actions after the conclusion of the fight, Joshua added: "When you try and do things from your heart, not everyone is going to understand," Joshua explained.

"It was just from the heart. I knew I was mad at myself. Not at anyone, just myself. I was like 'I got to get out of here because I'm mad'.

"When you're angry you might do stupid things. Then I realised this is sport. I came back and did the right thing.

"I'm a fighter for life. That hunger never dies. Fighter for life."

Eddie Hearn, the promoter for Joshua, labelled his fighter an idol within world sport as he echoed the sentiments that the 32-year-old will not retire.

"This is someone who I want my kids to look up to," Hearn added. "If he's out in public, he gives everyone his time. He's one of the nicest guys. He's a competitor and winner.

"What you saw was raw emotion. A real person who wanted to win badly."

Oleksandr Usyk has called out Tyson Fury immediately after retaining his heavyweight titles with a split decision victory over Anthony Joshua in Jeddah on Saturday.

The Ukrainian's victory over Joshua meant he retained the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, while he also claimed the Ring Magazine belt.

Usyk is now eyeing off the WBC belt, vacated by Fury who had declared he was retired after beating Killian Whyte in April. Fury had recently indicated he would end his retirement to potentially fight Derek Chisora before flip-flopping on that decision earlier this month.

However, speculation has mounted that Fury would come out of retirement to face the winner of Saturday's bout.

That will only be fueled by the video posted by the 'Gypsy King' on Twitter reacting to Usyk's victory, claiming he would "annihilate" both fighters, while the 35-year-old Ukrainian was already eyeing off a bout with him.

"I'm sure Tyson Fury isn't retired yet," Usyk said on the ring immediately after the bout.

"I'm sure he wants to fight me. I want to fight him. If I'm not fighting Tyson Fury, I'm not fighting at all."

Fury said on Twitter: "It was one of the worst heavyweight title fights I have ever seen. I would annihilate both of them on the same night.

"Get your f*****g chequebook out because the Gypsy King is here to stay forever."

Fury's co-promoter Frank Warren had indicated earlier this month that the 34-year-old was getting "itchy feet" in retirement.

"He's got itchy feet at the moment, he wants to fight," he told TalkSPORT.

"I think what's going to happen is, see what happens on [August] 20th and the outcome of that and that'll determine what he intends to do in the future.

"My opinion, this is not from him, it's from me. I think he will [return] because he's a fighting man and he misses it. That's what he does, he wants to fight."

Anthony Joshua launched a bizarre yet impassioned rant after losing the heavyweight title re-match to Oleksandr Usyk on split decision in Jeddah on Saturday.

The Ukrainian retained his heavyweight belts with the victory but it was Joshua who stole the show after the bout.

The 32-year-old Briton grabbed the microphone in the ring and spoke for four minutes in an expletive-filled rant despite it being Usyk's moment of glory.

Joshua's tirade included moments of respect along with disrespect aimed at his opponent and seemed to lack coherence or direction.

"I don't care about strong, I care about skills," Joshua said. "Being strong doesn’t win boxing … skills win boxing.

"You’re not strong, how did you beat me? I got skilled. I’ve had character and determination."

Joshua, who appeared to throw two belts out of the ring amid the chaos, quickly changed his tune and added: "Usyk, one hell of a f***ing fighter, let’s give him a round of applause.

"That’s just emotion. If you knew my story, you would understand my passion. I ain’t no f***ing amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from a youth.

"I was going to jail. I got bail and started training my ass off, because if I got sentenced, I wouldn’t be able to fight."

He continued: "The f***ing passion we put into this s***, man. This guy, to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the levels of hard work he must have put in, so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world. Woo! Motherf*****!

"I'm not a 12-round fighter. Look at me! I'm a new breed of heavyweights. All them heavyweights — Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey.

"'Oh, you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano'. Cause I ain't f***in' 14 stone, that’s why! I'm 18 stone and I'm heavy! It's hard work! This guy here is a phenomenal talent."

Promoter Eddie Hearn weighed in on Joshua's confusing rant, arguing he was frustrated after Usyk was "too good" for him.

"You saw the reaction from AJ, and that was from a human who wanted to win so badly with so much pressure on his shoulders," Hearn told Sky Sports Box Office.

"I think he just exploded because he lost and he was devastated, and he's given everything to try and win this fight. He couldn't win the fight, he's a competitor, he's a winner but this man's too good.

"It was an incredible performance. He’s just too good, and there’s no shame in it. The 10th round, the 11th round, that’s why he’s the pound-for-pound number one."

Oleksandr Usyk successfully defended his world heavyweight champion status with a split-decision victory over Anthony Joshua in Jeddah.

Just under a year on from ripping the Briton's WBA, IBF and WBO belts from him in a unanimous triumph at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Ukrainian retained those titles in hard-fought fashion in Saudi Arabia.

Usyk's second win against his rival reaffirms his place atop the pecking order in the heavyweight division, with Tyson Fury – an obvious contender – again retired for now.

But Joshua did himself no disgrace in defeat, producing a resurgent display to go toe-to-toe throughout in a fight that may quiet questions around his future despite the loss.

The pair warmly embraced after the final bell and together held aloft the Ukrainian flag in a show of solidarity before the scores were read out to confirm Usyk's defence.

While one judge scored the fight 115-113 in Joshua's favour, another had the same result for Usyk, with the third decisively awarding the champion a 116-112 success.

A low-wattage opening showed little between the pair, with Joshua attempting to exert early control through a steadier command of the middle of the ring than he had shown in London last year.

But a livelier start to the fourth from Usyk drew the pair out into a fiercer contest, before a more explosive sixth ratcheted up the tension with a flurry of hooks and uppercuts from both men.

With the fight past the halfway point, it looked as if Joshua could fall away with his struggle to convert low shots – but a blistering combination in the ninth left his opponent backpedaling to the ropes.

Usyk promptly responded, though, and his unerring accuracy just about kept Joshua at bay through an enthralling finale to secure a second successive points triumph.

Oleksandr Usyk has claimed "expectations are not met every time" after the Ukrainian surprisingly came in light at his pre-fight weigh in ahead of the rematch with Anthony Joshua.

The heavyweight champion was widely reported to have been bulking ahead of going toe-to-toe with Joshua in Saudi Arabia but, clocking in at 15 stone and 11 pounds, was only marginally heavier than his weight in north London last year.

Usyk, always keeping his cards close to his chest, refused to confirm whether it was a ploy for people to think he would be showing a heavier weight for Sunday's bout and was not drawn into pre-fight verbal jabs when interviewed after the scales.

Joshua also downplayed the significance of the weigh-on and face-off, having clocked in four and a half pounds heavier than last September, and remains focused on getting it done in the ring.

"For me, personally, the face-off doesn't mean anything. It's about throwing leather, the face off doesn't win fights. All of this stuff, weight, none of it matters to me, I'm just looking forward to the fight," he said.

The Brit has been preparing for the fight to go the full distance, just as it did at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when he lost his belts, adding: "I'm 100 per cent ready for 12 rounds and anything less than that is a bonus."

At 32 years old, Anthony Joshua should be enjoying the prime of his career, but in his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk on August 20 he faces the prospect of his status as a truly top-echelon attraction coming to an end.

Joshua, an Olympic gold medallist and maybe the most physically imposing heavyweight in boxing, will contest his 12th consecutive world title fight when he steps into the ring in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with nine wins and two losses over that span.

The Watford-born star has lost before – in a shocking upset via seventh-round knockout against Mexico's Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden – which he proceeded to avenge in style, with a dominant unanimous decision victory in the rematch, also in Saudi Arabia.

He will be hoping the story repeats itself after his convincing defeat at the hands of Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September, as he again prepares for his rematch on the other side of the world, away from all the distractions of friends, family and the celebrity that comes with being the heavyweight champion of the world.

But Usyk is a very different proposition than Ruiz ever was.

Ruiz was a late replacement opponent when he faced Joshua, and it was clear the towering, muscle-bound Brit underestimated the stout, stocky Mexican, as he was shocked early by the challenger's power and never truly recovered.

With a full camp and a renewed sense of focus, Joshua picked apart Ruiz in the rematch, with the fight leaving even the most passionate Ruiz fans questioning how he ever pulled off the upset in the first place.

Usyk, on the other hand, is no late replacement for anyone, and he has been on the same path towards the heavyweight throne as Joshua since their amateur days. At the London 2012 Olympics, where Joshua collected the super-heavyweight gold medal, Usyk ran through the heavyweight division, and has since put together a perfect record in the cruiserweight weight class.

After building a record of 16-0, including going 7-0 in cruiserweight world title fights, Usyk made the decision to make the jump up to heavyweight, and after wins against Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora, he earned his shot against Joshua, and took it with both hands.

For Joshua, this time there was no lack of planning, and there was no reason to underestimate Usyk's world-class ability – in other words, there were no excuses. So how can he make sure the rematch is nothing like the original, and become a three-time world champion in the process?

Exploit Usyk's weaknesses

Usyk is a near-perfect heavyweight fighter, with power in his hands to sting anyone, while retaining the foot speed and agility of a much smaller cruiserweight – but like every boxer, he has flaws, and tendencies that can be exploited.

Without a doubt, Usyk fights best as the aggressor, taking the centre of the ring and marching forward to force his opponents to fight with their back near the ropes and nowhere to run.

But Joshua is the bigger (six-foot-six against six-foot-three), longer (82 inch reach against 78 inch reach) and younger (32 against 35) fighter, meaning he has the physical tools necessary to deny Usyk his desired position as the ring general dictating the pressure.

Also, in Usyk's two most competitive world title fights – a majority decision win against Mairis Briedis and a unanimous decision against Murat Gassiev – he showed his defence is far from impenetrable, particularly against left hooks and body shots. The left hook in particular, including feints, seem to draw out the biggest reaction from Usyk, who usually opts to retreat and reset as opposed to firing back a counter.

He is also far from a quick-starter, instead opting to remain relatively cautious through the opening few rounds as he measures his distance and timing, before increasing his pace and volume in the second half of the fight to overwhelm his tiring opponents.

If Joshua is able to hold the centre of the ring early, rely on his length advantage to keep Usyk on the outside, and make a concerted effort to focus on body shots whenever the Ukrainian closes the distance, he could find himself with a healthy early advantage and the momentum heading into the middle stages of the fight.


Identify what went wrong in the first fight

Both Gassiev and Briedis fought in an orthodox stance, just as Joshua does, while Usyk fights out of the southpaw stance – meaning Joshua will have his left foot forward, and Usyk will have his right foot forward.

In orthodox versus southpaw matchups, the fight is often decided by the footwork battle, and Usyk dominated in that department for all 12 rounds in his first look at Joshua.

Whoever controls the 'outside' foot position is able to fire straight shots to the body and head with their rear hand, while also being able to easily circle away from their opponent's straight shots as they try to punch across their body diagonally.

While Usyk has the advantage as far as foot speed goes, the problem in the first fight was more about Joshua's willingness to concede the positioning battle and try to punch his way out of it, which led to plenty of flailing swings and a lack of clean connection.

One way to dissuade the southpaw from taking the preferred position is to aggressively use the left hook early – to the head, as Joshua loves to do, but more so the body – as it will come from the direction Usyk is constantly trying to move, lean and escape to, while his southpaw stance naturally exposes the vulnerable liver area.

If Usyk begins to feel like that left hook is coming every time he moves towards it – or absorbs an uncomfortable blow to the liver – he could be more willing to hold a neutral stance and level the playing field, completely changing the dynamic from their first meeting and opening the door for Joshua's power and size advantage to come to the fore.

"In comparison with war, boxing is child's play."

Those were the words uttered by Oleksandr Usyk in April after he left Ukraine's front line to prepare for the rematch against Anthony Joshua, which takes place in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

Eleven months ago, Usyk placed himself on top of the boxing world with a stunning victory over Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium – where he dominated what was only his third fight at heavyweight level.

The aftermath saw talk of a unification bout against Tyson Fury, while questions were also raised as to whether Joshua would walk away, but both of those discussions were irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

In February, Russia stunned the world with the invasion of Ukraine and citizens took to the frontline to defend their nation, with Usyk travelling back to Kiev to fight.

Boxing, understandably, was far from the mind of Usyk, who told CNN: "I really don't know when I'm going to be stepping back in the ring. My country and my honour are more important to me than a championship belt."

Usyk will this weekend put his WBO, WBA Super, and IBF titles on the line against Joshua and shoulder the hopes of a nation who have had to cope with unthinkable trauma.

Sport, in situations like this, is largely irrelevant and few would criticise Usyk if he were to struggle in his rematch given the experiences he has endured – but he may find extra encouragement from Joshua's comments ahead of the bout.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Joshua described the months since he lost his belts to Usyk in north London as a "nightmare", words that may sting Usyk's camp given what has transpired away from the ring.

Many would suggest Usyk, having been the underdog in the initial bout and still with limited heavyweight experience, has nothing to lose – but he would be the first to argue that is not the case.

In terms of preparation, Usyk, like Joshua, has made significant adjustments and, having been at the lower-end of the heavyweight scale for the first clash has bulked up for the rematch, while the Brit has done the opposite.

Joshua had the weight, height and reach advantage for the first bout but did not put it into effect, with it clear after the opening five rounds that he was on the back foot and his best chance of winning was a knockout – but he never pushed for a stoppage.

Usyk, now displaying added bulk, may look to be more aggressive and to take the sort of chances that Joshua passed up back in September, though that is an approach he has not shown yet in the heavyweight division.

The champion's past two bouts have gone the distance and he earned unanimous decisions but, in the heavyweight game, it is a brave approach to look to stand firm, as just a single punch can change the picture entirely.

With additional weight behind him, Usyk should be able to hit Joshua harder this time around, but the full force of his strikes may well come from a different source – the support of his nation.

Promoter Alex Krassyuk told Sky Sports that Usyk travelled across Ukraine to visit high-ranking army officials, fans and injured combatants while supporting the resistance of the Russian invasion, where he received significant support and backing to return to the ring for the rematch.

"People want him to fight. People want him to win. They all want the Ukrainian flag to be risen and the Ukrainian anthem to be heard throughout the planet," he said.

That level of support can inspire Usyk when he faces a rejuvenated Joshua.

Promoter Bob Arum is "confident" Tyson Fury will come out of retirement to face the winner of Saturday's heavyweight title rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua.

Fury retained his WBC world title with a victory over Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April and stated that was his last fight. 

The Brit appeared to backtrack this month by stating he would be returning to the ring and wanted to face Dereck Chisora for a third time, having already been victorious over his compatriot in 2011 and 2014.

Fury then announced once again that he has retired in a social media post on his 34th birthday last week.

Joshua and Usyk will do battle once more this weekend in Saudi Arabia, after the former undisputed cruiserweight champion took the Brit's IBF, WBA and WBO belts with a unanimous decision victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

Arum believes the 'Gypsy King' can be tempted back into the ring to face whoever comes out on top.

He told Sky Sports: "Absolutely - it's really the only fight that makes sense for Tyson Fury.

"I've discussed this with my co-promoter of Fury, Frank Warren, and once this fight is over we're going to put together a total unification match between the winner and Tyson Fury.

"Now, if Usyk wins the fight, which I expect, that will be quite easy to do because we're very close to the Usyk people as they're the same people who manage Vasyl Lomachenko who fights for us. If Joshua wins, Eddie Hearn is his promoter. We've talked many times with Hearn about various matches and I'm sure we'll be able to come together on this one.

 "I've talked with him [Fury] and every day is different, but he's a fighter and if the right fight is there then Fury will be up for that fight. The right fight is the unification fight against the winner of Usyk and Joshua and I think - based on my conversations with Fury - he'll be up for that challenge.

"How much longer he will go after that, god only knows and I'm not sure, but I'm confident at least that he'll answer the bell for that major fight."

Anthony Joshua insists he will not be driven into retirement if he fails to defeat Oleksandr Usyk in his world heavyweight title rematch this Saturday.

Joshua, 32, suffered only the second defeat of his 26-fight professional career when he met Usyk for the first time last September, going down in a convincing unanimous decision to the talented Ukrainian.

While it was considered an upset, Usyk dominated the Brit in a masterclass to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO belts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Usyk has built a 19-0 professional record, including a perfect 7-0 in cruiserweight world title fights before deciding to move up to heavyweight.

Joshua has shown his ability to respond to adversity before when he successfully reclaimed his belts from Andy Ruiz Jr after the Mexican had pulled off a stunning stoppage victory six months prior, with that rematch also taking place in Saudi Arabia.

The Englishman has dismissed suggestions he may have to quit if he fails to dethrone Usyk this weekend.

"It’s up to me at the end of the day, it’s not up to anyone else what I do with my career," he said. "I don’t have to do this. Why do I do it? It’s because it’s all I know.

"This is also my 12th consecutive world title fight. I’ve been in world title fights back-to-back 12 times. 

"It happens – if you’re fighting people at world level, you’re meeting people of world-level quality. I’m not fighting people who are below par."

Anthony Joshua admitted his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk is "must win" ahead of the fight on Saturday.

Joshua was surprisingly outclassed by Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September as the Ukrainian won the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles.

Usyk will defend his belts for the first time in a rematch this weekend with the Briton in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at the final press conference before their bout at the Shangri-La hotel in Jeddah, Joshua insisted he has to win, but felt confident after his camp with new trainers Robert Garcia and Angel Fernandez.

"That's it. Must win," Joshua said. "I like the pressure. It's been tough. Robert Garcia, Angel Fernandez, existing members of my previous team as well, definitely pushed me, challenged me. 

"Now we just get the job done. Instinct, stay focused, get the job done, God willing, victorious."

On his motivation for the fight, where he will face the unfamiliar role of challenger, Joshua said: "It's competition.

"I've got goals I want to achieve in the ring on the night. That's competition with myself. You've got to have a competitive spirit."

Usyk is aiming to repeat his impressive performance from the first fight, and seemed relaxed at the press conference, echoing what his opponent said about the importance of competition.

"We were born to compete for life, for belts, for everything. The one who does not compete does not live," Usyk said.

"All our lives are competition, for anything, for something, for somebody. That's why we are competing."

Either as a mind trick or simply to show how unfazed he was in general, as Joshua was leaving the stage following their face off, Usyk burst into song, joined by members of his team.

Oleksandr Usyk is determined to do his fellow Ukrainians proud when he faces Anthony Joshua on Saturday and vowed to help them in any way he can.

Usyk outclassed Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to win the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles.

The 35-year-old will defend his belts for the first time in a rematch with the Briton in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Usyk has been involved in a battle that is much bigger than any boxing fight since he became world champion, returning to his homeland to defend his country following Russia's invasion.

He has set up the Usyk Foundation to support humanitarian aid for Ukrainians in need of medical care, shelter and food.

Usyk has also ensured his second bout with Joshua in Jeddah will be free to watch for the people of his war-torn country and he hopes to put on a show for his compatriots.

"I want to help my people and my country and Saturday night is going to be a small party for them, maybe a big party," he told Sky Sports.

"I will do my best to give the best performance that I can.

"It's important because the war is taking place and we have to help people. Whether they need food, we supply them with food. Whether they need anything else, we have to help them.

"Because this is something that is happening in our hearts and our assignment is to keep positive and keep other people positive.

"I have a group of people who work hard to find families in need. Maybe they need some kind of house to live, some food to support, maybe some money to spend for their families.

"They are looking for these people, they are analysing what are their needs and they help in satisfying their needs. This is something that they do every day and this is something that will be done in the future because this is actually the mission of the foundation."

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