BRITAIN’S Anthony Joshua weighed in 23lbs heavier than champion Oleksandr Usyk for Saturday’s heavyweight world title rematch in Saudi Arabia.
Ukrainian Usyk was tipped to come in at a career-heaviest weight, but just about matched the previous fight by weighing in at 15th 11lbs (100.5kg).
Joshua, 32, came in at 17th 6lbs (110.9kg) with neither man showing any sign of nerves in the final face-off.
He is fractionally heavier than in his last fight with Joshua when he weighed in at 220lbs, while Joshua is about 4lbs heavier.
Joshua cut a focused figure during the weigh-in, and the two-time world champion insisted there was nothing to glean from the final staredown.
“All this stuff – weight, face-off – none of it matters to me. I’m just looking forward to the fight,” he said.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long, long time. People have called it revenge or redemption. They can call it what they like but I don’t see it like that. It’s just a fight and we’re in the final hours before Oleksandr Usyk and I step back into the ring again for the second part of our war.
“What we have in common is that we both want to put on a great fight for the fans who’ve travelled all over the world to be here. They deserve that much.”
Usyk is destined to be a future Hall-of-Famer, but there are still critics who feel he is not a natural heavyweight and is too small for the division. He has competed just three times at heavyweight.
Speculation on the 35-year-old’s weight had been rife throughout fight week, with former British world champion Amir Khan – who visited Usyk in Dubai earlier this month – suggesting he may have put on as much as 30lbs since the last fight.
“You see, your expectations, not every time are met,” Usyk said.
Joshua is expected to be much more aggressive in the rematch after being convincingly outboxed by Usyk 11 months ago.