Oleksandr Usyk hit the scales in Saudi Arabia with the results evoking memories of when Andy Ruiz Jr. did similar three years before.
The formidable Ukrainian weighed almost the same as he did for the first fight against Anthony Joshua in September.
Usyk Joshua weigh in
However, headlines centered around the weight Usyk has piled on for the last few weeks. Statements on how bigger he looks.
Bookies on top betting sites in Ontario took wagers that Usyk would weigh far more than his last weight. But that smokescreen was not the case as Usyk scaled 221 pounds and change, as he did in London eleven months ago.
Joshua came in four pounds heavier for his part despite reports of the Englishman losing weight specifically to challenge Usyk’s mobility.
Andy Ruiz Jr
None of those came to pass and brought flashes of Ruiz Jr. hitting the stage in Diriyah.
A hysteria of publicity and photoshopped images accompanied the build-up to Ruiz vs Joshua 2. But once Ruiz hit the scales wearing a vest, many could hear audible gasps.
Ruiz weighed fifteen pounds heavier and later admitted hardly training for the fight. He was too busy celebrating the first win over Joshua six months earlier.
The whole situation means the pair will be close to where they were regarding the weight differential on fight night.
Usyk Joshua weigh in and quotes:
[Full weights will appear shortly]
“Hi to everyone, thanks for having me here. It’s good to be part of this huge event. I’ve been waiting for this fight for almost two years.
“I think he is a dangerous guy, but he lasts for a few rounds. I’m dangerous for the whole fight. I’m dangerous for 12 rounds. That is the difference.”
“It means a lot in China and for the sport of boxing in China. I’m fighting for my country. On Saturday, everybody is going to witness Chinese power again!”
“It’s a must-win. I think every fight is a must-win at this stage in your career. I’m in a busy division, a packed division where there are a lot of fighters waiting for a shot at the world title.
“I left here last time as a World Champion. I believe I’ll leave here this time ready to fight for a new one.”
“I am a warrior first and foremost. It’s in my DNA. I’m always here to win and ready for a good fight.”
“I’ve had a great camp. I’m so incredibly blessed to work with Manny Robles. I’m 100% ready to put on a great performance.”
“I look forward to giving my best in the ring.”
“I’m just treating this situation as an experience for me. I believe that I’ll be fighting for those belts one day.”
Badou Jack [199lbs] – Opponent Richie Rivera [194.8]:
“I feel young. I take care of my body. You’ve got to live a boxer’s life. You can’t just live it when you’re in training camp. It’s a lifestyle – all year round,” said Jack.
“My original opponent was Tyrone Spong, but that fight didn’t go through. I don’t know if I’m going to campaign at Heavyweight.”
“The good thing about pressure is pressure makes diamonds! That’s what’s going to happen on Saturday. I’m here to inspire.”
“I have the main advantage, which is my height. That’s why I will keep my opponent at a distance. I will not allow him to come closer.”