Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“Welcome everyone to London ahead of this huge press conference, this massive moment for the sport, the biggest prize in the sport of boxing – the World Heavyweight Championship. Two Heavyweight icons, Oleksandr Usyk – the reigning World Champion and the defending champion here against the challenger Anthony Joshua – former two-time Heavyweight World Champion. This fight has it all, one of the most eagerly anticipated events in boxing. August 20th, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
We look forward to the ‘Rage on the Red Sea.’
Oleksandr Usyk, Unified Heavyweight World Champion:
“I am pleased to be here today. I am very happy to get the opportunity to fight in Saudi Arabia and help open new horizons for the sport of boxing. I love to travel worldwide and fight in places for the first time. I am not fighting for money or any recognition. I am just doing my job now and will continue fighting until my heart keeps beating. I am not expecting anything from Anthony Joshua, but I know he will be different, and so will I.”
Alexander Krassyuk, promoter of Oleksandr Usyk:
“It’s a pleasure to see everyone here at this event. As Egis mentioned, London is a great city for Usyk. He became the Olympic Champion here, and he became the Unified Heavyweight World Champion here. We did have a lot of fun on our way to success. We started our journey with Usyk 9 years ago in the professionals. He became the Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion; he became the Unified Heavyweight Champion. Now his objective is to become Undisputed. We have an earnest man to deal with on August 20th. The fight takes place in the new destination of sports, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A country that is transforming itself and transforming the world of sports and the world of boxing in particular.”
Egis Klimas, manager of Oleksandr Usyk:
“Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you, London, for having us here. We’re very excited to be here. UK London is Oleksandr’s hometown. He won a gold medal in 2012 here. He had pretty good wins against Tony Bellew and Mr. Chisora. He has a lot of fans here in the UK. Thank you for having us here. In Jeddah, we saw something different, interesting, and new in the sport. We were treated like kings there. We did a lot of promo shoots. We can’t wait to go back to Saudi. We want to thank Prince Khalid and everyone from Saudi for this event and for supporting this sport, and we’re looking forward to August 20th.”
Anthony Joshua, former Unified Heavyweight World Champion:
“It’s hard to say from a head-to-head who will win a championship fight. So I don’t tend to look into the head to heads so profoundly, but for some, they could think that’s a 1-0 victory. That’s down to opinion anyway. Shout out to everyone in Saudi Arabia as well! It will be my second time there; the first time was lit, and it will be even better this time for sure. Going down to the old city was unbelievable. I am sure you have seen some of the videos on social media. Anyone that is going, I am sure you are going to be in for a great time in Saudi Arabia.
“In terms of old AJ, same old G, I’m just doing what I’m doing—grafting away. It is a rough and tough sport. Fighting these lefties is a nightmare! And I cannot make the same mistake twice. I am hungry and desperate, but how I perform will speak at the end of the day.”
Robert Garcia, trainer of Anthony Joshua:
“The whole team, everybody around us, is very positive. We have to do whatever it takes. We have to devise different strategies in case one doesn’t work. We’ll be ready for the fight. Anthony is listening. He believes in us, and that’s the most important thing. In the ring, he’s got to come out and do what we tell him to do. Usyk is a great fighter. I’ve known him since a few years back when he came to my gym a few times to train. He’s a very talented fighter. He’s got very different ways to fight. Seeing the size difference, the height, the reach, and the weight are to Anthony’s advantage. We’ve got to take advantage of that. We’ve got to train him to focus on that and come fight night, do what we need to do to win.”