Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua live results and analysis

12:44 PM ET

  • Mike CoppingerESPN

Oleksandr Usyk defends his three heavyweight world titles in a rematch against former champion Anthony Joshua on Saturday at the Jeddah Superdome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (DAZN, 1 p.m. ET, with main event expected to start at 5:30 p.m. ET).

Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), 35, of Ukraine, overcame a cut on his right eyebrow and dominated Joshua last September to score a unanimous decision victory to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF belts. And he expects to keep them.

“We learned from each other in the first fight, but this is a continuation and the first round on Saturday will be Round 13,” Usyk said during a news conference on Wednesday. “We had enough time to study each other. We were born to compete for life, for belts, for everything. The one who does not compete, does not win.”

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs), 32, of England, exercised his contractual right to an immediate rematch and vows to reclaim the championship Saturday.

“This is what competition is all about, setting goals I want to achieve and being disciplined enough to follow them through,” Joshua said. “[The belts], they mean something, but that’s all at the end of the target. It’s not like I’m skipping the process. I’m focused on the process.”

Fight in progress: Callum Smith vs. Mathieu Bauderlique, 12 rounds, WBC light heavyweight eliminator


Jack outpoints Rivera in close, entertaining fight

Badou Jack, a former super middleweight champion, eked out a split-decision victory over unheralded fighter Richard “Popeye the Sailor Man” Rivera in a 10-round cruiserweight fight.

One judge scored the matchup for Rivera 96-94, but was overruled by a pair of 96-94 scorecards in favor of Jack.

“I think I did enough. Very awkward, ugly style,” said Jack, who was fighting at 200 pounds for the third consecutive time. ” … I need to step my game up, I can’t fight like this. … We’re going to do better next time.”

The 38-year-old, who fights out of Las Vegas, struggled over the first half before taking control during the final five rounds. Jack’s best moments came in the fourth minute — that’s right — of Round 8, a frame that mistakenly was allowed to last 3 minutes, 58 seconds, almost a minute longer than regulations state.

Jack (27-3-3, 16 KOs) buzzed Rivera during the fourth minute and was able to do enough to escape with the win and avoid a major upset defeat.

Rivera (21-1, 16 KOs) suffered the first loss of his career in his first fight against world-class competition, but after the performance, he could be in line for another opportunity.

Almaayouf wins first pro fight by TKO

Jose Alatorre came out moving forward behind wild flurries that forced Ziyad Almaayouf to move backwards. Almaayouf adjusted, landing 20 of 37 power punches (54%) en route to scoring the first-round technical knockout in his pro debut.

Almaayouf, 22, scored two knockdowns before the referee stopped the contest with five seconds remaining in the opening round.

Ali stops Garcia in 65 seconds

Ramla Ali, in the first professional women’s boxing match in the history of Saudi Arabia, kicked off the main card with a first-round TKO of Crystal Garcia Nova.

Ali, a model and racial equality activist from Somalia, floored Garcia (10-3, 10 KOs) with a sharp right hand that sent the mouthpiece soaring outside the ropes. Garcia, a 22-year-old from Dominican Republic, didn’t seem to attempt to beat the count.

“I feel like I need to go back and do some more pads, I didn’t really get out of first gear,” said Ali, a 2020 Olympian who resides in London. “I’m really looking forward to having a little break now. … My last two fights I’ve been training and competing with a fractured wrist and fractured toe.”

Ali (7-0, 2 KOs), who is trained by Manny Robles, needed just 65 seconds to score the stoppage.

Still to come:

  • Title fight: Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua, 12 rounds, for Usyk’s WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles

  • Filip Hrgovic vs. Zhilei Zhang, 12 rounds, IBF heavyweight eliminator