Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk weighed in at a trim 221 1/2 lbs at Friday’s weigh-in for his rematch with former champion Anthony Joshua ahead of Saturday’s headliner on DAZN PPV at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia. Joshua weighed in at 244.5 lbs.
Usyk’s weight is just one-fourth pound heavier than the 221 1/4 lbs he weighed for his previous fight against Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) last September at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, England.
While many boxing fans had expected Usyk to come into the fight in the 240s due to the talk of him having gained 15 kilos, he tricked everyone by coming in at essentially the same weight as last time.
People had been saying that Usyk looked bulked up, but what they have been fooled by is that the photos of him appeared to be taken after he’d had a workout and was pumped up.
Usyk coming in at 221 is bad news for Joshua because it means he’s going to be just as quick as he was last time they fought. Usyk threw a lot of punches in that fight, and he kept Joshua’s offense bottled up with the way he unloaded with combinations to dominate the action.
Joshua’s weight of 244.5 lbs is 4 1/2 lbs heavier than the 240 lbs he weighed in his previous fight with Usyk, and it’s easy to figure out why he’s added more bulk.
AJ’s new trainer Robert Garcia wants him to be more aggressive and use his size to beat Usyk. Adding more size makes sense for Joshua because he’s going to want to steamroll the smaller fighter Usyk with his power.
The problem with Joshua coming into the fight heavier at 244 1/2 lbs is that it increases the chances of him gassing out and being picked apart by the clever Usyk.
Joshua’s cardio isn’t anywhere near the level of Usyk’s, and it probably doesn’t matter that he’s worked hard in training camp trying to improve it.
Predictably, if Usyk pushes a fast pace, Joshua will be gassed out by the third round and will be easy pickings for the unbeaten champion. It would have been better for Joshua to come in really light in the 230s in hopes of improving his stamina & hand speed.