Oleksandr Usyk has long served as a man of few words.
The two-division champ and reigning WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight titlist stayed true to character even when prompted to discuss and promote his upcoming rematch with former two-time unified titlist Anthony Joshua. Their upcoming heavyweight sequel was formally announced Tuesday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where they will meet on August 20 in the first fight for either boxer since Usyk’s unanimous decision win over Joshua last September.
“I don’t brag and make big speeches, I just work hard in training camp,” Usyk stated as translated by career-long promoter Alex Krassyuk during the press conference in Jeddah. “That is what I will do until (August 20) and then entertain you all with my boxing performance.”
Ukraine’s Usyk (19-0, 13KOs) has entertained in and out of the ring for as long as he’s boxed.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and former undisputed cruiserweight champion enjoyed two-division title status following his upset win over England’s Joshua (24-2, 22KOs) last September 24 on the road at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London. Usyk joined Evander Holyfield and David Haye as just the third cruiserweight to win a piece of the heavyweight crown, which he will defend in the rematch with Joshua who aims to become a three-time champ.
Joshua’s time on the mic was more impassioned and inspiring, as expected given their personalities. Usyk remained selective in his words and simply grateful for the freedom he can enjoy even during horrific time as his native Ukraine continues to defend against the ongoing Russian invasion.
“I’m very happy to be here. Very happy for my next fight. It’s very pleasant for me and for my team. It’s a big honor for me to be here. As we all know, we are not in the best condition back at home. We are doing what we have to do. We are working hard as a team to achieve our goal.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox