Oleksandr Usyk weighed in at a career-heaviest 223.5lbs for Saturday’s undisputed heavyweight title fight against Tyson Fury.

The 37 year old was therefore more than 2lbs heavier than in August 2023 when he stopped Daniel Dubois, suggesting he is expecting a physical contest with Fury, who at 262lbs was the lightest he has been since outpointing Otto Wallin in 2019.

When Fury – 35 years old and almost 16lbs lighter than we he defeated Francis Ngannou in October – and Usyk then came face to face Fury invaded his personal space before the rival camps had to be separated.

“I’m ready to rock and roll,” said Fury, who has otherwise remained calm and composed ahead of the biggest fight of his career at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “Fireworks tomorrow night. I’m gonna knock this little f***** spark out.

“I’m coming for his heart. That’s what I’m coming for. F*** his belts. I’m coming for his f****** heart. He’s getting it tomorrow. Spark out! F*** him! 

“F*** the lot of them [Usyk’s team]. They can all get it if they want it too. S***houses.”

Ukraine’s Usyk – after his weight had earlier erroneously been announced as 233.5lbs – was asked what he told his opponent, and he responded: “‘Don’t be afraid. I won’t leave you alone tomorrow.’”

He was then asked what his late father would have told him, and he said: “‘You can do it.’ I can do it.” 

Some of the finest surviving retired heavyweights were in attendance at BLVD City in Riyadh. Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield – who in 1999 contested the most recent undisputed heavyweight title fight – and Wladimir Klitschko, Fury’s former opponent and Usyk’s compatriot, were among them.

“The energy is in the air,” Lewis said.