Amid singing, dancing and deep talk, Usyk and Joshua address pre-fight press conference


By Aljohara Zarea

JEDDAH — Amid high tension, singing and dance, challenge and deep talk about life, the world’s top boxers Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua presented themselves at a press conference in the runup to the biggest boxing event in Jeddah.

The pre-fight press conference for the rematch event, Rage on The Red Sea, which millions of fans around the world are waiting for, was held in Jeddah on Wednesday.

Joshua’s nervousness was a little noticeable, as he started his talk by saying that they must win, and called to get the job done and to stay focused.

He confirmed that there was too much pressure during his training but the team has pushed and challenged him to complete his path toward success.

Joshua stated that he wants to be disciplined enough, while describing the whole process as a competition with himself. “I got goals that I want to achieve in the ring on Saturday night”.

When asked about the belts, he said the belts come at the end, and to get those belts, then it is a must to focus on the process.

“I want to compete and I’m looking forward to it,” Joshua said.

Usyk appeared at the conference with a distinguished look that turned out to be an authentic costume of the Ukrainian warrior Cossacks.

Usyk seemed a bit more relaxed than Joshua at the press conference, and when asked about people who expect AJ to be better in this fight, he replied that he and Joshua had learned from each other from the first fight. “We had enough time to study each other, and Saturday night’s would be a great fight,” he added.

Replying to AJ talking about the love of competition, Usyk said, “We were born to compete for life, belts and for everything.”

He added: “The one who does not compete does not live.”

Usyk said that this was his third time in Saudi Arabia and he was sure that he would be here more and more again.

The two champions stood facing each other, looking into each other’s eyes in front of the audience who had been waiting for this powerful and challenging moment.

As soon as this exciting moment was over, Usyk danced and sang as is usual for him, and this time he chose the Ukrainian patriotic song “Oi u luzi chervona kalyna”.

Many important figures in the biggest event were present at the pre-fight press conference.

Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk said the champion went through hell in the training camp in less than 3 months, adding that it did not kill him but it made him stronger.

“I’ve never seen him more determined than now,” Krassyuk noted, while pointing out that not many champions in the world can share their experience in the game while going through a war in his country and making his way to the ring to defend the heavyweight crown.

It was extremely and exclusively a challenge for Usyk to compete while experiencing this, but he passed it in a good way, Krassyuk confirmed.

Krassyuk said Usyk made a decision to take the rematch in the circumstances of the war in Ukraine.

Usyk was communicating with high-ranking military officers and visited the hospitals in Ukraine as he was receiving a lot of messages from the Ukrainian people who wanted him to take the rematch and win, he added.

“Let history judge how special this man is,” Krassyuk said.

While Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas described the great effort made by the title holder, he said he didn’t see anyone cycling 100km in 45°C like Usyk did, and swimming the day before the press conference in London 10km in a pool for five hours.

As for Joshua’s team, AJ’s new head trainer Robert Garcia stated that the team did the job with Anthony and the only thing “on his mind now is to become the champion again on Saturday.”

He said the week before the game was very easy for Anthony, while confirming their readiness to bring those belts back home.

The pre-fight press conference for the Rage on The Red Sea was preceded by another press conference for the boxers participating in the secondary fights on 20 August.

Saudi boxer Ziyad Al-Mayouf said if he was going to write his story himself, it would not be as beautiful as what really happened to him now.

“We have to be an inspiration to others, and I will do my best to get there,” he said while adding that “it is normal that there will be a bit of pressure during this process, but pressure makes diamonds”.

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