Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua are fully, totally, completely official now for their Aug. 20 rematch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, officially announcing the fight at a press conference today.
Usyk (19-0, 13 KO) upset Joshua (24-2, 22 KO) last September at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London, winning the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles.
Joshua has new trainer Robert Garcia in his corner, and there’s a lot of intrigue in the rematch, some of which we discussed on this week’s podcast.
Here’s what Usyk and Joshua had to say today.
“As we all know, we are not in the best conditions at the moment back at home, but we are doing what we have to do. We are doing our job together with my team, we are working hard to achieve our goals.
“I’ve never made very loud and bright speeches. I just work hard in my training camp and my gym. That’s what I’m going to do until the date of the fight, and then I will enter the ring and will make you happy with my boxing. Thank you.”
“The reason for my happiness is not my championship belts, but the fact that I have a family, my wife and children, and a wonderful team around me.”
“The hunger’s still there. I’ve always said from the get-go, stay hungry. Keep the motivation high. Blips happen, things happen in life, but resilience, mental toughness, and consistency will always prevail. We’re still on the road to undisputed for sure. It’s just a little blip in the road but I’m focused on the target sitting over there. I’m focused on the goal, and God willing, I’ll perform and I’ll become three-time champion of the world.”
“With Andy Ruiz, I think a lot of people could see before the fight, things weren’t 100 percent. We’ve got to be strong and thick-skinned, take our loss like a man. When I win, I keep it moving and thank everybody, and if I lose, you have to stay humble as well in defeat. I kept it moving and knew I could come back again and do what I have to do.
“He busted my ass for some rounds. I have to take that defeat like a man as well. I hold myself accountable. I’m someone who can admit when I’m wrong and hold my head high when I’m right. In the fight in September, I was wrong and he was right. Simply, I have to reverse that role.
“I hold myself accountable. I’m someone who can admit when I’m wrong and hold my head high when I’m right. In the fight in September, I was wrong and he was right.”
“I don’t like to over-complicate the situation, because there’s simplicity in genius, like, sometimes if you keep things simple you can achieve great things. I’m just going to keep things simple, move forward, and the date will soon come.”
“We have to give him, his team, credit where credit’s due. I’m not a hater. I respect him and his craft and what he’s achieved. That should only motivate me to get better. If I’m around someone that’s better than me on the night or better than me in certain aspects, I have to motivate myself and push myself to be better than them. That’s all it’s done, really.
“The great thing is, I’ve got a second chance. What got me into boxing in the first place — when I was a youngster, I got into a bit of trouble now and again, and I was blessed with a second chance and I found boxing, and I took it with both hands. If you know me and a lot of my story, you know I’m the comeback king. You can put me down, but it’s difficult to keep me down. I always keep my spirits high. Even through my tough times, I know everything will make sense in the long run.”