After all the talk about Oleksandr Usyk, it was Anthony Joshua who had put on a noticeable amount of poundage at Friday’s weigh-in before their world heavyweight championship rematch on Saturday night.
Usyk, who claimed a stunning unanimous decision victory over the Briton last September, clocked in at 221.5lbs ahead of his fourth outing in the heavyweight division.
Joshua weighed 244.5lbs, while Usyk came in at 221.5lbs despite being expected to bulk up
Oddly, their appearance defied those numbers. Joshua looked leaner in face and torso, Usyk more muscular of upper body
But since the scales never lie, Joshua has marginally more oomph if his plan is to overpower instead of trying to box Usyk.
Usyk was able to negate a 1st 5lbs weight disadvantage last year, keeping a hapless Joshua at bay with his relentless movement and evident speed advantage.
The Ukrainian has acknowledged Joshua will present a different challenge this time but has stuck to the same weight that brought him so much success last time out.
Usyk clocked in at 215lbs for his first fight at heavyweight against Chazz Witherspoon in 2019, before rising to 217lbs for his tough encounter against Derek Chisora the following year.
With nearly an additional year to prepare, Usyk is now a fully-fledged heavyweight, but the Cossack warrior should not have lost any of the speed which troubled AJ as he claimed his world titles.
‘You see your expectations every time are not met,’ Usyk said of his weight.
Having parted ways with long-term coach Rob McCracken to join forces with a knockout-hungry Robert Garcia, Joshua is expected to impose his physicality this time after being totally outboxed last September.
Tale of the tape: Usyk vs Joshua
Height: 6ft 3ins
Height: 6ft 6ins