Oleksandr Usyk will attempt to make his first title defense of the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight world championships this coming weekend. The attempt will come against none other than Anthony Joshua in a highly-anticipated rematch of their bout in Spetember 2021.
The Ukrainian, of course, defeated the Brit last year, becoming the second man (after Andy Ruiz Jr.) to take Joshua's unified world title.
After becoming the undisputed crusierweight world champion in 2018 and the world heavyweight champion in 2021, the 35-year-old is on the hunt for undisputed status in a second division as well
Ahead of the upcoming rematch, the Ukrainian spoke with Sky Sports and discussed the new pressures for the rematch. Usyk's said:
"The difference is that I will have the [world title] belts with me, but I do realize that I [will] walk into the ring in the position of a champion. [Being] in the position of a champion does not make me feel easier, and it won't be easier for me in the ring. I realize that I will have to do my job properly and it isn't going to be an easy assignment for me."
This won't be the first time that the 19-0 boxer has made a world title defense, as he's already defended belts against another Englishman in Tony Bellew as a crusierweight.
However, this will be the first outing that Oleksandr Usyk has made since claiming the crown in the heavyweight division.
Watch Usyk's interview with Sky Sports here:
Does Oleksandr Usyk have more pressure to win than Anthony Joshua in the rematch?
Overall, Anthony Joshua will be entering the second meeting with a lot more pressure on his shoulders. He holds a much bigger profile and already holds two losses on his professional record.
To further this, AJ is a natural heavyweight, while Usyk is a significantly smaller man in physique and frame.
Despite not having as much pressure to win as Joshua, the 35-year-old also carries a lot of pressure to secure victory in this clash. Usyk is the current champion, and following his dominant display in the first fight, there will be a lot more expectations for an impressive display from the majority of fans.
Check out this image from the first fight showcasing Usyk's stellar distance management: