oleksandr usyk vs. anthony joshua 2

Former two-time champion Anthony Joshua was succinct but intense in his description of the significance of Saturday's fight

the unified title against Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia (5:15 p.m. ET — DAZN subscribe now).

At the last news conference on Wednesday in Jeddah, Joshua stated, "It's a must-win, but I embrace the pressure."

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) should be defended since he has done this previously.

The 32-year-old British champion, who had previously lost his three world belts to Andy Ruiz in a shocking upset in 2019

came back to win the rematch six months later in Saudi Arabia by patiently outboxing an obese Ruiz.

The circumstances of this title rematch, though, couldn't be more unlike, not to mention the caliber of the 35-year-old Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs),

the former undisputed cruiserweight champion and one of the best boxers in the world pound-for-pound.

When Usyk and Joshua finally lock horns inside the Jeddah Superdome for Usyk's first defense of his IBF, WBA, and WBO crowns

Usyk will definitely be in a peculiar mental state. Joshua's motive may feel a little familiar.

In the 11 months since Usyk defeated Joshua in a boisterous Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the United Kingdom, a lot has happened.

Not only did Usyk's native Ukraine become embroiled in a protracted conflict as a result of a Russian invasion

he was also one of several well-known combat sports athletes to put their career on hold in order to fight alongside his country on the front lines

Usyk really took the difficult decision to accept the Joshua rematch and start training camp during that battle after communicating 

numerous senior military leaders on the ground and injured soldiers in hospitals

At the time, Usyk's focus was on anything other than boxing.

Alexander Krassyuk, Usyk's promoter with K2, said, "He made his decision to take the rematch in these conditions

In every talk, he overheard encouragement to participate in the rematch. People want him to prevail in his fight