Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua live results and analysis
12: 44 PM ET
Oleksandr Usyk defends his three heavyweight world titles in a rematch against former champion Anthony Joshua on Saturday at the Jeddah Superdome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (DAZN, 1 p.m. ET, with main event expected to start at 5: 30 p.m. ET).
Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), 35, of Ukraine, overcame a cut on his right eyebrow and dominated Joshua last September to score a unanimous decision victory to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF belts. And he expects to keep them.
“We learned from each other in the first fight, but this is a continuation and the first round on Saturday will be Round 13,” Usyk said during a news conference on Wednesday. “We had enough time to study each other. We were born to compete for life, for belts, for everything. The one who does not compete, does not win.”
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs), 32, of England, exercised his contractual right to an immediate rematch and vows to reclaim the championship Saturday.
“This is what competition is all about, setting goals I want to achieve and being disciplined enough to follow them through,” Joshua said. “[The belts], they mean something, but that’s all at the end of the target. It’s not like I’m skipping the process. I’m focused on the process.”
Next fight: Badou Jack vs. Richard Rivera, 10 rounds, light heavyweights
Ziyad Almaayouf def. Jose Alatorre by first-round TKO
Fight recap coming up …
Ali stops Garcia in 65 seconds
Ramla Ali, in the first professional women’s boxing match in the history of Saudi Arabia, kicked off the main card with a first-round TKO of Crystal Garcia Nova.
Ali, a model and racial equality activist from Somalia, floored Garcia (10-3, 10 KOs) with a sharp right hand that sent the mouthpiece soaring outside the ropes. Garcia, a 22-year-old from Dominican Republic, didn’t seem to attempt to beat the count.
“I feel like I need to go back and do some more pads, I didn’t really get out of first gear,” said Ali, a 2020 Olympian who resides in London. “I’m really looking forward to having a little break now. … My last two fights I’ve been training and competing with a fractured wrist and fractured toe.”
Ali (7-0, 2 KOs), who is trained by Manny Robles, needed just 65 seconds to score the stoppage.
Still to come:
Title fight: Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua, 12 rounds, for Usyk’s WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles
Filip Hrgovic vs. Zhilei Zhang, 12 rounds, IBF heavyweight eliminator
Callum Smith vs. Mathieu Bauderlique, 12 rounds, WBC light heavyweight eliminator
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.