Ukraine’s reigning world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk hit the scales 12 pounds lighter than British challenger Daniel Dubois at Friday’s weigh-in for Saturday’s title clash in Wroclaw, Poland.
Unbeaten Usyk, who holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts, came in at 100.2kg (220.9lbs) compared to his taller opponent’s 105.8kg (233.2lbs).
The Ukrainian, who carries the hopes of a nation battling a Russian invasion, had weighed in at 100.5kg for his most recent fight against Britain’s Anthony Joshua a year ago in Saudi Arabia.
“Maybe I’m not heavy like Daniel but I have different, I have heart,” said the 36-year-old Ukrainian, who has a 20-0 record and can count on his compatriots to make up most of the crowd at the open-air Tarczynski Arena.
Dubois, 25 and with a professional record of 19 wins and one defeat, was first on the scales and at his lightest in six years, seven pounds lighter than at his most recent fight.
“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who strengthens my hands for war and my fingers to fight. Amen,” was all the Londoner said when asked for a comment.
The two fighters were introduced on stage by American ring announcer Michael Buffer who tried to liven up the otherwise muted proceedings, with Usyk holding up flags of support for Ukraine.
Usyk beat Joshua on a split decision a year ago in Jeddah but goes into this latest title defence as the overwhelming favourite.
The evening will have a distinct Ukrainian flavour, with seven Ukrainian boxers on the undercard.
Britain’s Tyson Fury holds the WBC belt and hopes of a unification fight remain on hold after talks broke down last March.
Fury is due to take on former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on Oct. 28 in a bout with professional boxing rules. REUTERS
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