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Usyk ‘very pleased’ that Saudi Arabia allowed Ukrainians to watch fight for free

Published: Updated:

Boxing’s heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk said he is “very pleased” that his fellow Ukrainians will be able to watch the broadcast of his title defense against Anthony Joshua in Jeddah for free.

Speaking to reporters during an open workout on Tuesday, the Ukrainian boxer commended the hard work that went into securing the broadcast rights allowing his countrymen to watch the fight without having to pay.

Usyk had reportedly attempted to buy broadcast rights for Ukraine himself – but Saudi organizers are said to have gifted the fighter the rights without taking any payment, Usyk’s manager Alex Krassyuk told TalkSport.

During Tuesday’s open workout at Jeddah’s Saudi Airlines Club, contender Anthony Joshua praised the hospitality of his Saudi hosts.

“Saudi Arabia’s been very good to me, shout out to everyone here [in the Kingdom],” he said.

“I’ve had a good time, everyone at the hotel and gym has been looking after me, and it’s been like a second home. I’ve good memories of here from last time out [against Ruiz Jr in 2019] and it’s time to create new ones.”

The two heavyweights will face off on Saturday evening at King Abdullah Sports City.

Usyk will defend his WBA ‘Super,’ IBF, WBO, and IBO belts against the man he won them from in September of 2021.

It will be Joshua’s second fight in the Kingdom, after his showdown against Andy Ruiz Jr. in the 2019 Clash on the Dunes in Riyadh.

Other noteworthy fighters on the card are Ziyad Almaayouf – an American boxer with Saudi roots – and Ramla Ali, who will be the first woman to appear in a professional bout in the Kingdom.

Promotional events for fight week kicked off on Monday with Saudi dignitaries cutting the ribbon.

Tuesday saw open workouts, and a press conference is due to be held on Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday, fighters will take part in a public weigh-in ceremony, before fight night on Saturday.

Read more:

Heavyweight champ Usyk ‘happy for opportunity’ to fight in Jeddah

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Usyk to face Joshua in Saudi Arabia in boxing heavyweight title rematch

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