The second leg of the Usyk Vs Joshua press tour took place in London today, as the heavyweight titans met face to face for the final time before the week of their huge rematch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on August 20th.
The first leg of the press tour was last week in Jeddah, where the pair shared a tense face-off, following a respectful press conference. This week saw an equally respectful press conference in London with another intense face-off between the pair, this time prompting promoter Eddie Hearn to step in and wave in front of their faces to break the lock between the two warrior's eyes.
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At the press conference, Joshua said: “It’s hard to say from a head-to-head who’s gonna win a championship fight, but for some, they could think, ‘That’s a 1-0 victory.’
“In terms of ‘old AJ’… same old G, just doing what I’m doing – grafting away. Listen, it’s a rough and tough sport, especially fighting these lefties; they’re a nightmare.
“But it is what it is, isn’t it? You’ve gotta dig deep, tuck up, and not make the same mistake twice.”
Joshua next addressed the change in his training team: “Robert Garcia’s a good man. Straight after the [first fight], I spent time in America. It’s something I should have done early in my career. So, young fighters coming up: Go to the States, get out there, travel.
“Branching out has been good with Robert Garcia. Shoutout to [former coach] Rob McCracken and all the team up there as well, I respect him and everything that we’ve achieved, so there’s no love lost.
“But I need to make some sort of important decisions for myself as well. Yeah, it’s new, it’s something different, but the objective is the same: to win a fight, to look at your opponent and take something away from them, a bit of their spirit when you’re in the ring.”
Joshua was then asked what he believes he has to do to get the victory: “Um… I could say that, but I didn’t come out victorious last time. But 12 rounds in the bank is good, good footage to watch, but every fight is different.
“No matter how many videos you’ve watched, how many staredowns you’ve had, no matter how many press conferences you’ve done, it’s just completely different in the ring.
“Twelve rounds is good, but you can’t take too much away from it. You’ve got to be in the moment; what happened then is in the past, I don’t really live in the past.
“I’ll be looking forward to competing round by round. If I follow my As, Bs and Cs, it should lead me to KO.”
Usyk responded with his thoughts on the fight: “I’m very happy to have an opportunity to have my fight in a new place in Saudi Arabia, to open some new horizons. I love to travel throughout the world and to have my fights somewhere for the first time.”
Lots of similar sentiments on Saudi Arabia from everyone on stage so far…
“Everything I do in my life, I’m enjoying. I’m not fighting for money or recognition – I don’t need this. I don’t need to become the greatest, I’m just doing my job now and will continue doing it as long as my heart is beating.
“The only thing I’m on my way to is to save my soul. Everything else is just life.”
Usyk understands that it could definitely be a different fight this time around with Joshua changing his team: “I do understand that he’s gonna be different, so will I.”
Usyk Vs Joshua 2 is billed as 'Rage On The Red Sea' and takes place on August 20th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.