Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk LIVE: Weigh in LATEST as AJ and Usyk hit the scales – latest updates

IT'S been a long wait – but Anthony Joshua is finally back in the ring TOMORROW NIGHT.

Pumped-up AJ returns to a full house at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, taking on feared Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk in a potential classic in the capital.

The countdown is well and truly on to Saturday's showdown!

  • Weigh in: Friday, September 24 @ 2.30pm
  • Fight date: Saturday, September 25
  • UK start time: Estimated to be around 10.15pm

Follow ALL the latest build-up and updates with our live blog below…

BETTING SPECIAL – GET JOSHUA TO WIN IN ROUNDS 1-6 AT 60/1 OR ANYTIME AT 25/1

  • Kealan Hughes

    SPAR SIGN

    Oleksandr Usyk has been warned 'it's only a matter of time' before Anthony Joshua imposes his size to break down the masterful challenger.

    Helping AJ prepare with slick southpaw sparring have been Australian Demsey McKean and German Shokran Parwani.

    Both have given their insight to SunSport, predicting a slow burner as Joshua, 31, gradually makes his presence known, before closing the show towards the backend.

    McKean, 30, said: "I think AJ gets the later round stoppage, in the later rounds. He has to break him down a bit first.

    "He's the biggest heavyweight going so I think it's only a matter of time until he breaks him down and gets the stoppage win."

    And Parwani, 29, added: "My fight prediction is I think AJ will stop him at the end of the rounds.

    "He is conditioned for 15 rounds, he's sparred guys, six guys, different attributes, different styles, different techniques."

  • Kealan Hughes

    'HE'S EXCEPTIONAL'

    Tony Bellew has told Anthony Joshua he will face a tough task against Oleksandr Usyk, especially as he linked back up with Anatoly Lomachenko in training.

    Anatoly, who avoids the limelight, was a coach on Ukraine’s Olympic team for his son Vasyl Lomachenko’s gold medal wins in 2008 and 2012.

    Bellew told White and Jordan on talkSPORT: “It’s a hard fight, I’m not gonna lie. It’s a very, very hard fight.

    “If anything, it’s just got even harder because Usyk has now gone back with Lomachenko’s father.

    “That makes it even harder because they will create a game plan that is gonna try and negate everything good that Anthony Joshua does. They’re gonna try and take everything away from him.

    "That’s what Usyk does so well. He takes away your strengths before he looks at implementing his own strengths.

    “And by taking away your strengths, you’re lost. The things he does with his feet – he’s exceptional.

    “So I think it’s a really hard fight, I think it’s really dangerous.”

    NINTCHDBPICT000680661105Credit: Alamy
  • Kealan Hughes

    AJ WANTS UNDISPUTED

    Eddie Hearn says that Anthony Joshua wants to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world if he comes through a tricky fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

    And he will target the winner of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder, with the pair due to face off in just over two weeks for the final instalment of their dramatic fight trilogy.

    Hearn told Good Morning Britain: "He [Anthony Joshua] just wants the undisputed championship, so whoever comes through that fight [Fury vs Wilder].

    "As a Brit, we hope that Tyson Fury does the business.

    “I don’t think he is as well prepared as he was for the second fight, but I still think he has got more than enough ability to beat Deontay Wilder.

    “Fingers crossed for an AJ win tomorrow night, fingers crossed for a Tyson Fury win, and then we can see that undisputed fight in early 2022.”

  • Kealan Hughes

    LEKS GOOD

    Oleksandr Usyk looks to have piled on the muscle as he prepares for his world title fight against Anthony Joshua.

    Some critics claim the Ukrainian will be 'too small' to become a world champion up at heavyweight.

    But judging from his training photos, Usyk should hold no fear on his big night under the Tottenham Stadium lights.

    Despite his undefeated boxing record, coming up against AJ will be too big a 'leap' to overcome' according to up-and-coming Brit heavyweight Fabio Wardley.

    He told Betfred TV's boxing show: "[Oleksandr Usyk] has not pulled off the best performances since he’s been in the heavyweight division.

    "So to then jump in with someone like Joshua, it’s quite a big leap."

  • Kealan Hughes

    FURY TOP FIVE

    Tyson Fury has revealed his ranking of the top five heavyweights in the world, with himself inevitably taking top spot.

    Deontay Wilder takes a surprising second place, followed by AJ in third and Usyk in fourth.

    But those places could be swapped in Fury's mind and many others if Usyk stuns the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.

  • Kealan Hughes

    'I CAN OUTBOX HIM'

    Anthony Joshua has multiple cards up his sleeve to keep Oleksandr Usyk guessing on Staurday.

    The world champion is aiming to put his strength advantage to good use but also hopes his boxing skill helps him to land a knock-out.

    He told Sky Sports: "You always aim to prepare for a 12-round fight but hope to cut it short.

    “You aim to knock people out. But I can outbox him, of course I can and I can out strength him.

    "Obviously, we have our go to, our strength.

    “I will use my strength. But you have to have as well as aggression, boxing skill, head movement. There is not just one factor that determines a fight.

    "You also learn where their strengths are, where their weaknesses are. He has good stamina. So, we work around, not just losing weight but rounds of sparring and rounds on the heavy bag to generate good stamina.”

  • Kealan Hughes

    'I WOULD FIGHT KING KONG'

    Anthony Joshua insisted he is ready and willing to take on all challengers ahead of his world heavyweight title showdown against Oleksandr Usyk, saying: “If you told me I was fighting King Kong, I would give it a go.”

    He said: “I’m glad I’d already made it to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before fight week before because the place blew me away.

    "I wasn't on the amateur scene long enough to know much about Oleksandr, but when I turned professional I did a lot of research and I love the Ukrainian style and the Ukrainian people.

    "He was fighting 10 or 12 years as an amateur before he went to the Olympics and worlds, so he is probably happy to be in this position. The cream always rises to the top.

    "I love throwback fighters. I do watch a lot of boxing and I don't fight good people just to get respect. I'm going to work. It's the best days of my life."

  • Kealan Hughes

    CAUTIOUS APPROACH

    Ricky Hatton also expects a close match between AJ and Usyk, predicting both boxers will be wary of each other.

    In his column for the Metro he wrote: "Oleksandr Usyk is definitely up there as one of the greats and could very well be Anthony Joshua’s toughest test to date. Usyk is a fantastic, skilful boxer but he is moving up in weight.

    "In his recent fights, Joshua has boxed a bit more cautiously, a bit more sensible. Defeats can make or break you and I think the defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr and how he responded in the rematch made AJ.

    "He’s thinking about things a bit more now and he is reminding us of just how good a boxer he is and why he won that Olympic medal. And he will need that against Usyk.

    "I think Joshua will box a smart fight, he has to. I think he knows that Usyk can punch and he will know himself he can be vulnerable. I don’t think he is going to go in there and jump all over him.

    "Having said that, Usyk can be a bit of a slower starter, he likes to let his opponent punch themselves out a bit, make them hit fresh air and then put his foot down like he did against Tony Bellew.

    "I think Usyk will box cautiously because of the size of AJ. AJ will do likewise because he knows what Ruiz did to him. I can see a chess match."

  • Kealan Hughes

    'UNBELIEVABLE'

    Oleksandr Usyk is set to return to the UK 13 years after defeating his first British opponent, Danny Price.

    The pair battled it out for qualification to the 2009 Beijing Olympics and Usyk came out victorious – as he has every time he has come up against a Brit.

    Usyk has since outpointed Joe Joyce, knocked out Tony Bellew, battled past Derek Chisora and will now face Anthony Joshua.

    Price recalls his fight with the Ukrainian: "He was a counter-puncher back in the day, and so was I. I was better suited to being on the back foot.

    "I was one point down going into the last round. I had to chase the fight in the last round and he beat me. That was his game.

    "I always think – if I was one point up going into the final round, he would have to have chased me. I could have been on the back foot. It would have been in my hands. It was gutting.

    "Technically he is just unbelievable. In the first three rounds, there wasn't much in it. He didn't give much away and neither did I.

    "Then any time I threw, I missed and he threw back. His reflexes were so good. In the last round when I chased it, he boxed my head off. He caught me coming in. He was so good at that style of fighting.

    "He is the best technical boxer that I've been in the ring with."

  • Kealan Hughes

    'EXPECT A CHESS MATCH'

    Tyson Fury expects a tough, awkward fight for Anthony Joshua on Saturday, and has advised his compatriot to go big with the punches.

    He believes AJ has to look to knock out Oleksandr Usyk early on or risk burning up his energy and allowing the Ukrainian into the fight.

    Fury told Boxing Scene: "I’m not convinced that he is gonna win, either.

    "I expect AJ to come out trying to box a bit more because of this new way he boxes now and uses his jab.

    “And he knows he doesn’t have the stamina to take a fight to somebody under sustained pressure, and keep that up, because he gasses after about three rounds. And then he needs to take three or four rounds off.

    "So, he wouldn’t be able to do that against Usyk because Usyk will be on him all the time, making him fight. So, I expect it to be awkward, maybe a bit of a chess match for a few rounds. And I expect AJ to run out of ideas, really.

    "If he doesn’t land on him early and get him out of there with big punches, then I see it being a tough night for AJ and maybe even a stoppage loss.”

  • Kealan Hughes

    'AN HONOUR'

    Retailer JD have unveiled a mural of Anthony Joshua on Tottenham high road in preparation for his fight for Oleksandr Usyk, which takes place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

    The eye-catching painting was produced by Manchester-based street artist Akse P19, who has commemorated other significant British icons, in and out of sport.

    AJ, and ambassador for JD, is proud at being recognised alongside the other figures Akse P19 has commemorated.

    He said: "I’ve seen what Akse has done with Captain Tom, George Floyd and Marcus Rashford, as well as Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips and Ian Curtis.

    "So, to be amongst these great people is an honour and I’m happy that he chose me to be a part of this great history that he’s creating.

    “I’m not saying that I’m an icon, but the fact that he’s painting people that are doing big things makes me feel humbled and honoured.

    "The fight in this painting is also taken from when I became two-time heavyweight champion of the world, so I feel like it has a pivotal history.”

  • Gary Stonehouse

    THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS

    Anthony Joshua is predicting a knockout win to round off a "spectacular show" for 60,000 fans when he defends his three world titles against Oleksandyr Usyk.

    But Usyk claims tomorrow night's fight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.will go down in history for dramatically different reasons.

    British hero AJ said: “I know what I’m going to do. “I just know – a knockout.

    “It’s Kronk style. I’ve been watching a lot of certain things – I like Emanuel Steward’s mindset. Obviously you have to do your ABCs but if you follow them you get to KO.

    “That’s what I’m here to do – put on a spectacular show. People want to see knockouts. 

    I don’t fight good guys for respect, if you got me King Kong I would give it a go."

    But former cruiserweight king Usyk shrugged off worries he is too light to trouble Joshua and said: “I think me and Anthony are going to make another step in history.

    “Something that people later will talk about, people will remember.”

    And Ukrainian Usyk's last victim Tony Bellew also warned AJ: “He hits enough to get your respect.

    "It’s not going to be that easy and he also sets traps that don’t allow you to do that. 

    “You’ve got to make him engage mentally – he is so far ahead of everyone mentally in the game. He doesn’t tire."

  • Ian Tuckey

    WHY JOSHUA'S THE KING

    Anthony Joshua looks like the perfect physical specimen to be a heavyweight world champion but he has the brain to match the muscles.

    The 31-year-old’s chief physio ROB MADDEN has worked with the Watford icon throughout his constant evolution. And he has broken down for SunSport the five essential traits that make the WBA, IBF and WBO boxing king the perfect fighting machine.

    POSITIVITY

    THERE is an energy that AJ gives off when he walks into a room that just lifts everybody.

    When you are training hard, exhausted, maybe  injured, or even  nervous, that energy can be so advantageous, it can change everything.

    PURE POWER

    AJ’s genetics are phenomenal and that makes for incredible raw strength and power.

    I am relatively young but I know that I will never meet anyone like him in the rest of my career. He is a one-off.

    DISCIPLINE

    ANT’S discipline to training and, almost even more importantly, life is  incredible.

    He always turns up, to training, to fights, to media events, he never lets us down.

    STAMINA

    HIS cardiovascular capacity and engine is underrated.

    AJ does a lot of work on that in the gym with his boxing and on the bike.

    There has been some criticism of AJ’s engine but we know how powerful his lungs are. He’s phenomenal and has worked so hard on it.

  • Ian Tuckey

    FAME'S NOT MY GAME

    It might not be the fight the nation demanded but, for the first time in three years, Anthony Joshua will  pack out a major British stadium again tomorrow night, writes DAVE KIDD.

    Joshua claims he is not in the fight game for the fame, but to lift the profile of his sweet science to unprecedented levels.

    That he undoubtedly did in 2017 and 2018, when we grew accustomed to AJ’s big nights out, as he slayed Wladimir Klitschko, Carlos Takam, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin in front of 80,000 crowds at Wembley and Cardiff.

    Since then, Joshua lost his crown to Andy Ruiz Jr in New York, won it back in a soulless desert setting in Saudi Arabia, then endured the pandemic like the rest of us before he knocked out Kubrat Pulev in front of a tiny audience at  Wembley Arena last year.

    At Tottenham’s magnificent new stadium tomorrow night, Joshua will put his three belts on the line in front of a 68,000 crowd against Ukraine’s former undisputed world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.

    And Joshua, 31, said: “When I  started boxing in around 2008, there was a global financial crisis and no real investment in sport, no governments were investing on boxing.

    "But I committed and I worked hard and brought attention back to boxing.

    “I don’t promote boxing to be famous, I do it so we can all benefit from it. I work hard to make sure boxing is a high profile, respected sport.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    WHITE: AJ MUST HIT HIM FOR SYKS

    Dillian Whyte reckons Anthony Joshua needs to make short work of Oleksandr Usyk to cement himself as a heavyweight gr-eight.

    The Body Snatcher, 33, has watched enough of ex-undisputed cruiserweight champ Usyk to know that Joshua needs to blow away the old 14st 4lbs king with heavyweight authority.

    Ahead of his own October 30 showdown with Otto Wallin, Whyte told SunSport: “Joshua is a 17st puncher, going in against a guy who can make 14st. He needs to knock him out impressively inside eight rounds — or anything else and it’s a bad night.

    “Usyk is a good technical boxer but he carries no power at heavyweight and Joshua should blow him out.”

    Whyte, who beat AJ in the amateurs but was stopped by him in seven brilliant pro rounds in 2015, is facing a tricky southpaw of his own in Wallin.

    The 6ft 6in Swede slashed 47 stitches into Tyson Fury’s eye in 2019 before losing on points.

    And with a lack of unorthodox heavyweights around for sparring — and Usyk claiming all of AJ’s practice rounds will be wasted, as his style is unrepeatable — Whyte is keen to see how his fellow Brit handles only the second — and maybe first serious — southpaw of his pro career

    The Brixton ace explained: “The only southpaw AJ has boxed as a pro is Charles Martin, the worst heavyweight champion in history.

    “And he only turned up for a payday and lay down without throwing a punch."

  • Ian Tuckey

    THE JOKER IS ON U

    Oleksandr Usyk dressed as Batman villain The Joker to give Anthony Joshua one final fright before the fight but the champ isn’t even scared of King Kong, writes WALLY DOWNES JR.

    The 34-year-old Ukraine southpaw had already shaved his head and grown a handlebar moustache after being inspired by 17th century Cossack warriors.

    And he updated the look with a shockingly colourful suit and tie ensemble straight out of the Gotham gangster’s wardrobe.

    Credit: Getty

    The 18-0 ace combined his gap-toothed grin with a bright orange suit, a yellow waistcoat, a green shirt and a polka dot tie.

    But 31-year-old AJ, in his trademark black tracksuit, did not bat an eyelid at the comic-inspired clobber.

    And he warned Usyk he was facing a a student of the game who is laser focused on staying top of the class.

  • Ian Tuckey

    'FREAK' USYK DANGEROUS FOR AJ

    Tony Bellew has warned Anthony Joshua that Oleksandr Usyk is a ‘freak.’

    Usyk knocked Bellew out in Manchester in 2018, something the former fighter has not forgotten.

    Bellew said: “He hits enough to get your respect, it’s not like you’re just going to walk through him.

    “It’s not going to be that easy and he also sets traps that don’t allow you to do that. But you can hit his body and tire him as well.

    “You’ve got to make him engage mentally; he is so far ahead of everyone mentally in the game, he doesn’t tire.

    “I was amazed! I thought what I was doing to him in the fight was making him miss and then countering him, and I expected him to tire.

    “And the freak didn’t tire, he just kept getting stronger and stronger. Mate, he is unbelievable, I can’t emphasise enough how good he is.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    LEANER CAN BE MEANER

    Anthony Joshua has shrugged of worries over his new leaner shape.

    He said: "Let's look back – Razor Ruddock, Lennox Lewis, Mike Weaver, Ray Mercer. They all weighed about 100kg. 

    Credit: Getty

    "I'm no different to these guys and you lot all rave about how great they were.

    "But I'm no different – I'm actually closer to these guys. I've just tried to replicate how Emanuel Steward tried to train his champions.

    "I love watching great trainers and figuring out the best way to improve as a fighter and once I do that my body just takes form."

  • Ian Tuckey

    AJ EYES SLAM KRONK

    Anthony Joshua wants a Kronk-style KO win over Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday.

    The 31-year-old WBA, IBF and WBO champ has been studying the legendary Detroit gym and mastermind Manny Steward.

    The iconic sweatbox specialised in producing power-punching monsters like Thomas Hearns and Lennox Lewis.

    And AJ has swatted up on their trademark style in his bid to defend his titles in sensational fashion for 60,000 fans at Spurs.

    "I know what I'm going to do," he teased. "I just know – a knockout.

    "It's Kronk style. I've been watching a lot of certain things – I like Emanuel Steward's mindset. Obviously you have to do your ABCs but if you follow them you get to KO.

    "That's what I'm here to do – put on a spectacular show. People want to see knockouts. 

    "That's what we've got to deliver for the fans."

  • Ian Tuckey

    AJ FEELING SO PUP-BEAT

    Anthony Joshua reckons he has been like a young pup in the gym ahead of this dogfight.

    He said: "Like a dog or a baby I have been praised when I have done well and that makes me want to do more.

    "I practice and spar a lot so you are coming out to see me hit a live bodybag.

    "100 per cent the last place I would want to be is facing myself.

    Credit: Getty

    "I am not an easy touch for anyone.

    "I am here for a reason, I would not have got here so quickly without it."

    The colourful challenger kept his quotes far less exciting than his outfit, grinning: "I feel fine and look forward to the fight.

    "Every fighter makes history and me and Anthony will make another stat in history on Saturday night.

    "It will be something people remember forever. It will make history."

  • Ian Tuckey

    TOTTENHAM READY

    Tottenham's stadium has been transformed ahead of Anthony Joshua's clash with Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night.

    The Brit goes head to head with the unbeaten Ukrainian in North London and the arena has undergone a major revamp ahead of the bout.

    AJ, 31, saw talks for his big fight with Tyson Fury collapse and now takes on No 1 contender Usyk instead.

    Tottenham Stadium transformed for Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk with pitch covered up and ring starting to take shape

    It is the first time boxing has been held at the £1BILLION arena.

    And Joshua's Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn took excited fans on a tour.

    He went live on Instagram and gave his followers a glimpse into the stadium.

    The pitch was totally covered by artificial flooring where the ring will sit surrounded by fans.

    Cranes and machinery were moving around where the grass usually is getting metal frameworks in place.

  • Ian Tuckey

    'BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE'

    Anthony Joshua says these are the "best days of my life" – but the fun stops on Saturday night against Oleksandr Usyk.

    Britain's heavyweight champ said: "I have had fun in camp, it has been demanding but it has been fun.

    "I don't fight good guys for respect, if you got me King Kong I would give it a go.

    "It's just my job, we are going to work and it's a blessing cos these are the best days of my life."

    The 6ft 6in powerhouse reckons he has been like a young pup in the gym ahead of this dogfight.

    He said: "Like a dog or a baby I have been praised when I have done well and that makes me want to do more.

    "I practice and spar a lot so you are coming out to see me hit a live bodybag.

    "100 per cent the last place I would want to be is facing myself. I am not an easy touch for anyone. I am here for a reason, I would not have got here so quickly without it."

  • Ian Tuckey

    THE JOKER IS ON U

    Oleksandr Usyk dressed as Batman villain The Joker to give Anthony Joshua one final fright before the fight but the champ isn't even scared of King Kong, writes WALLY DOWNES JR.

    The 34-year-old Ukraine southpaw had already shaved his head and grown a handlebar moustache after being inspired by 17th century Cossack warriors.

    And he updated the look with a shockingly colourful suit and tie ensemble straight out of the Gotham gangster's wardrobe.

    Credit: Getty

    The 18-0 ace combined his gap-toothed grin with a bright orange suit, a yellow waistcoat, a green shirt and a polka dot tie.

    But 31-year-old AJ, in his trademark black tracksuit, did not bat an eyelid at the comic-inspired clobber.

    And he warned Usyk he was facing a a student of the game who is laser focused on staying top of the class.

  • Ian Tuckey

    BELLEW: BEWARE USYK 'TRAPS'

    Tony Bellew has warned Anthony Joshua that Oleksandr Usyk is a ‘freak.’

    Usyk knocked Bellew out in Manchester in 2018, something the former fighter has not forgotten.

    Bellew said: “He hits enough to get your respect, it’s not like you’re just going to walk through him.

    “It’s not going to be that easy and he also sets traps that don’t allow you to do that. But you can hit his body and tire him as well.

    “You’ve got to make him engage mentally; he is so far ahead of everyone mentally in the game, he doesn’t tire.

    “I was amazed! I thought what I was doing to him in the fight was making him miss and then countering him, and I expected him to tire.

    “And the freak didn’t tire, he just kept getting stronger and stronger. Mate, he is unbelievable, I can’t emphasise enough how good he is.”

  • Giacomo Pisa

    'I AM NOT AN EASY TOUCH FOR ANYONE'

    Here's another recap of what AJ said a minute ago.

    He revealed: "Like a dog or a baby I have been praised when I have done well and that makes me want to do more.

    "I practice and spar a lot so you are coming out to see me hit a live bodybag.

    "100 per cent the last place I would want to be is facing myself.

    "I am not an easy touch for anyone.

    "I am here for a reason, I would not have got here so quickly without it."

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