Anthony Joshua tries to intimidate Usyk during face off
By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua tried to get under the skin of IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to intimidate the unbeaten champion during their face-off on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia.
Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) and Joshua met for their kick-off press conference to promote their rematch on August 20th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Easily the most interesting thing about the press conference was the face-off between the two fighters.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) glared at Usyk in a menacing way, refusing to break the stare to turn towards the audience.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, Joshua turned away first, giving up, as if realizing that he wasn’t going to intimidate the unbeaten champion Usyk by giving him dirty looks. You got to come better than that to unnerve Usyk, who just come out of the warzone in his home country.
“That hunger still burns inside of Anthony Joshua. Back to Saudi Arabia with such great memories, of course, when you beat Andy Ruiz here in December 2019,” said Eddie Hearn during Tuesday’s press conference for AJ’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
“This is arguably the toughest fight of your career and the most important moment of your career here in August.”
“The hunger is still there,” said Joshua. “Blips happen, things happen in life. We’re still on the road for undisputed. I’m focused on the target, which you see over there [Usyk].
“God willing, I’ll perform and become a three-time heavyweight champion of the world,” said Joshua.
“I remember when you suffered that defeat to Andy Ruiz, you always put on a brave face, but this one was a little bit different because I felt like you knew you had got it wrong,” said Hearn about Joshua’s previous loss to Usyk.
“I remember meeting with you afterward in Tottenham, and you were angry and deflated. It’s taken you a while to get things right. I know you’re a perfectionist and now you have a new trainer.
“It’s been a while, but this time has been good for you to reflect on that defeat, and understand what you needed to change to move forward. Now, I’ve never seen so much confidence going into this camp,” said Hearn.
“With Andy Ruiz, people could see before the fight that things weren’t 100%, but we’ve got to be strong, thick-skinned,” said Joshua sounding like he was making an excuse for his loss to Ruiz.
“We take our loss like a man. When I win, I keep moving and thank everyone. When you lose, you have to stay humble as well in defeat. So, we kept winning, but I knew I had to come back and do what I have to do.
“My defeat to Usyk, he bust my a** in some rounds, I have to take that defeat like a man. I hold myself accountable. I’m someone who can admit when I’m wrong and hold my head right when I’m right.
“In the fight in September, I can say I was wrong and he was right, but I have to reverse that role on August 20th. I don’t want to overcomplicate the situation because there’s simplicity in genius. Sometimes when you keep things simple, you can achieve great things.
“I’m going to keep things simple, move forward, and the date will soon come,” said Joshua.