Joshua "hungry and desperate" to take back titles from Usyk

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Boxing - Oleksandr Usyk & Anthony Joshua Press Conference - London, Britain - June 29, 2022 Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua pose during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

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LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) - Britain's Anthony Joshua said he was hungry and desperate to take back his world heavyweight titles from Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk when they fight their rematch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Aug. 20.

The pair stared each other face-to-face at a London news conference on Wednesday ahead of the 'Rage on the Red Sea' clash.

Usyk beat Joshua in front of a sell-out crowd at London's Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to take the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts. The rematch will be broadcast on sports streaming service DAZN.

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Joshua also lost the belts to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 before regaining them later that year in Saudi Arabia.

Asked by promoter Eddie Hearn how badly he wanted to win the fight, and whether he was desperate, Joshua replied: "Someone said to me today 'you've got a chance of becoming a three-times heavyweight champion of the world'.

"I said it's not really where you want to be... you want to stay there and keep it. So I'm definitely desperate to get my hands on it.

"Less talk, more action. Let me just get in there and do my job. I'm not a comedian, I'm not someone who writes speeches. I'm definitely hungry, definitely desperate but at the end of the day how I perform will speak volumes to the masses."

Joshua promised fans the second Usyk fight would be better than the first, and also different.

The 32-year-old Briton, who now has a new trainer in American former super-featherweight world champion Robert Garcia, has described the previous defeat as a 'blip'.

"What happened then is in the past, I don’t really live in the past," he said on Wednesday. "August 20 I'll be present and looking forward to competing round by round. If I follow my As, Bs and Cs, it should lead me to KO."

Usuyk, wearing a blue and yellow 'Colors of Freedom' top, said he would also be a different fighter to the last time.

The unbeaten 35-year-old's promoter Alex Krassyuk said the Russian invasion of his homeland would be in the hearts and minds of all.

"Ukrainians are strong, and Usyk is the true son of the Ukrainian nation," he said.

"It took us some huge efforts to make this fight happen due to the circumstances, we are now representing our native country, Ukraine, with hearts full of pride and determination."

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Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge

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