It’s inescapable territory for ‘AJ’, who paid dearly for a misguided approach in the first fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September as they crumbled in a dismal second professional defeat.
Rather than trying to use his superior size, strength and power from the first bell, Joshua bizarrely tried to come out and tactically outmaneuver Usyk, a much faster and massively skilled, clumsy and agile southpaw, who almost managed to get a knockout.
The result was a comfortable unanimous decision victory for the former undisputed heavyweight champion, who will face a more aggressive challenge on Saturday night.
Win, and Joshua will become a three-time world champion, taking back the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO titles while reclaiming The Ring belt recently vacated by Tyson Fury, who could surely still be tempted by a mammoth, an undisputed showdown among all the British who brings in money despite his latest retirement proclamations.
Lose again, however, and the chance to be the world’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis goes up in smoke, as does his longtime status among the elite of boxing’s blue ribbon division.
So how much can the two fighters earn from the so-called ‘Rage on the Red Sea’?
Usyk vs Joshua 2 Scholarship and Prize Money
Saturday night’s lucrative main event will involve a 50-50 exchange between the two fighters, with Saudi Arabia reportedly putting up £65m for the right to host the high-profile rematch.
However, this figure is quite the minimum and will obviously increase with pay-per-view revenue and various endorsements.