ANTHONY JOSHUA stepped into the ring for an intense face-off with Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia ahead of their rematch this summer.
The 32-year-old Brit will seek to regain his IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles in Jeddah on August 20 after losing to the Ukrainian at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year.
Joshua and Usyk went face-to-face at a press conference on Tuesday as they remained staring at one another for a long time in front of the cameras.
Then, at a press event on Wednesday, Joshua showcased some of his skills with a bit of shadowboxing inside the King Abdullah Stadium in Al Balad – which was filmed by his manager Freddie Cunningham.
And, after some more shadowboxing later on that evening, he then squared up to Usyk once more as they faced off in a boxing ring for the first time since their fight nine months ago.
After a lengthy staredown, there were calls for the pair to "separate" from each other.
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But yet again they refused to look away as the mind games continued two months out from their blockbuster heavyweight clash.
Joshua, whose only defeats have come to Andy Ruiz Jr and Usyk, has changed trainers in the lead-up to this crucial rematch – leaving long-time coach Rob McCracken for the accomplished Robert Garcia.
Speaking about the fight earlier this week, AJ said: "With Andy Ruiz, I think a lot of people can see before the fight things weren't 100 per cent.
"But you've got to be strong and thick skinned, we take our loss like a man, because when I win I keep it moving, I think everybody, and if I lose you've got to stay humble as well in defeat.
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"So I kept it moving and I knew I could come back again and do what I have to do.
"The fight with Usyk, he bust my ass for some rounds and I have to take that defeat like a man as well.
"But I hold myself accountable, I'm someone who can admit when I'm wrong and hold my head high when I'm right.
"In the fight in September I was wrong and he was right, and simply I have to reverse that role August 20."
Meanwhile, Usyk, who has returned from fighting the war in Ukraine in order to defend his belts, insists he will let his boxing do the talking.
He said: "As we all know, we are not in the best conditions at the moment back at home, but we are doing what we have to do, we doing my job together with my team and we are working hard on our goals.
"I never made some very loud and bright speeches, all I did was just work hard in my training camp and in my gym – that's what I'm gonna do until the date of the fight.
"And then I will enter the ring and make you happy with my boxing."
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