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Anthony Joshua vows he is ready to go the distance against Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua faced off in Jeddah (Nick Potts/PA)
Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua faced off in Jeddah (Nick Potts/PA)

Anthony Joshua insists he is ready for 12 rounds against Oleksandr Usyk after maintaining his substantial weight advantage for Saturday’s rematch in Jeddah.

A theme of the build-up had been the apparently extra bulk being carried by a beefed-up Usyk but the additional muscle turned out to be an illusion as he scaled a weight almost identical to their first fight.

The Ukrainian registered 15st 11lbs 9oz, only nine ounces heavier than when he seized the WBA, IBF and WBO belts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium nearly a year ago.

Joshua recorded 17st 6lbs 8oz, 4.8lbs heavier than in September, to give him almost two stones on his rival.

Anthony Joshua has a substantial weight advantage
Anthony Joshua has a substantial weight advantage (Nick Potts/PA)

“I’m 100 per cent ready for 12 rounds and anything shorter than that is a bonus,” said Joshua at the weigh in at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium.

The pair engaged in a lengthy face-off before clasping hands in mutual respect and turning away with Usyk adding a thumbs up for good measure.

When asked what should be read into their extended eyeballing, Joshua said: “Not much, it was just a face-off.

“I always say that for me personally face-offs don’t mean any anything. It’s about the bell ringing. Face-offs don’t win fights.

“All this stuff doesn’t matter…it’s just about the fight. Weights, face-offs – none of it matters to me. I’m just looking forward to the fight.”

Usyk would say only “you see, your expectations are not met every time” in relation to the speculation over his bulked up frame and revealed that when he looked into Joshua’s eyes, he saw “the reflection of myself”.