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Usyk keeps press conference short ahead of Dubois title clash
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Press Association
Oleksandr Usyk kept it short and sweet during his press conference ahead of Saturday’s world heavyweight title fight with Daniel Dubois (Yui Mok/PA)
Oleksandr Usyk kept it short and sweet during his press conference ahead of Saturday’s world heavyweight title fight with Daniel Dubois (Yui Mok/PA)

Oleksandr Usyk kept it short and sweet during Thursday’s press conference ahead of this weekend’s world heavyweight title clash with British underdog Daniel Dubois.

Usyk will take on mandatory challenger Dubois at the Tarczynski Arena in Wroclaw on Saturday night with his WBA, IBF and WBO belts on the line.

A crowd of up to 43,000 will be able to attend and support for Usyk will be strong given a number of Ukraine natives now reside in Poland since Russia’s invasion of their country last year.

Ukrainian hero Usyk has embraced the role of home favourite during this fight week but took the unusual step on Wednesday of spending some of his open workout by enthusiastically dancing, which delighted his ringside fans.

The 36-year-old continued that eccentricity on Thursday by answering only one question during a short press conference, where his opponent Dubois was largely a bystander until the duo took part in a drama-free face-off.

Usyk started: “Hi everybody, what’s up? I am grateful for my team, my family, my wife, I love you Katerina, my country and Ukrainian soldiers. Thank you so much.

“My preparation is all good. We do a lot of work, with swimming, we play football, we dancing, yeah. Enough?”

Alex Krassyuk, Usyk’s promoter, brought the press conference to a close soon after but only after the former undisputed world cruiserweight champion was honoured on what is Independence Day of Ukraine.

Despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Usyk has continued to live in his home country and has joined the country’s soldiers on the frontline during the past 18 months.

He was given a painting produced by Oleksandr Klymenko after his brief answer two days out from fight night in Poland.

K2 promoter Krassyuk said: “We have a special present for Oleksandr Usyk. His contribution was recognised by the military forces of Ukraine.

“A very special item, the icon of the God Mother painted by the outstanding master Oleksandr Klymenko, whose masterpieces are kept by the Pope, the Swedish King Gustaf and Polish president (Andrzej) Duda.

“The icon is made on the wooden board from the ammunition to the shell that were used by our soldiers defending Bakhmut.”

Usyk and Dubois shared a fist bump after a cordial face-off with both fighting for the first time in 2023.

Dubois was last in action in December at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where he recovered from a knee injury and being put down three times in the first round to beat South African southpaw Kevin Lerena by stoppage.

Meanwhile, Usyk will step back in the ring again for the first time since he beat Anthony Joshua by split decision in Jeddah last August.

Talks between Usyk’s team and the camp of WBC belt holder Tyson Fury over a potential unification bout did take place earlier this year but a proposed date of April 29 could not be finalised.

Usyk must now concentrate on adding another British boxer to his win column after previously defeating Tony Bellew, Derek Chisora and Joshua.

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