Challenger Anthony Joshua weighed in at 244.5 pounds on Friday — his heaviest since June 2019 — ahead of his bantamweight championship rematch with Alexander Usyk on Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) tipped the scales at 221.5 pounds, a quarter of a pound heavier than in his first meeting against Joshua in September, when he won a unanimous decision to win three titles.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) has since gained 4.5 pounds and is at his heaviest weight to fight since his upset of Andy Ruiz in June 2019.
The 32-year-old Englishman avenged that loss to Ruiz six months later in Saudi Arabia to reclaim his three titles. He will look to do it again against an even tougher foe in Usyk.
After they stepped off the scale, Usyk and Joshua engaged in a long staredown that neither wanted to lose, but the opponent wasn’t paying much attention to the pre-fight histrionics.
“Faceoffs don’t win fights,” said Joshua, ranked No. 4 on ESPN. “… All that stuff doesn’t matter. It’s just about the fight. The weight, the promotions, none of that matters to me. Just waiting for the fight.”
The 35-year-old Usyk, ranked No. 2 by ESPN and the No. 6 pound-for-pound fighter, won gold at the 2012 Olympics, as did Joshua. Usyk joined a self-defense battalion in Ukraine after the Russian invasion before he left to begin training.
Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, said earlier this week, “I am motivated by the people of Ukraine who are fighting to defend our independence, to defend our freedom and to defend our culture.” “I get voice and video messages from them with words of support and messages that they are praying for me and my victory… And that encourages me.”