Anthony Joshua showed nothing but respect to Oleksandr Usyk as they shared a brief chat after their confrontation last week.
The heavyweights met for the first time since their fight at a press conference to preview their upcoming rematch on August 20 in Saudi Arabia.
As they came face to face, there was a long, intense stare that lasted nearly two minutes as neither man wanted to look away first.
Promoter Eddie Hearn made two attempts to get the fighters to face the front, but neither moved.
Then AJ pointed forward himself, signaling Usyk to look away.
However, the Ukrainian refused to do so.
Finally, Joshua turned his head and broke his opponent’s gaze.
While doing other promotional shoots after the press conference, the pair made a second confrontation.
This time, the champion looked away first.
When their second tense look ended, Usyk pulled out his phone and — as they did before the first fight — the pair posed for a selfie together.
Joshua then asked Usyk, “How’s your family?”
To which Usyk replied, “Good.”
They shook hands and AJ added: “All in Ukraine – keep your head up yeah?”
For a brief period earlier this year, it looked like Usyk’s rematch against Joshua would be delayed.
When Russia invaded Ukraine and the war started, the champion was of course preoccupied and certainly not focused on boxing.
Ultimately however, Usyk was allowed to leave the country – despite martial law – as he is the father of three children.
He chose to do so and is now training in Dubai ahead of the rematch.