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ANTHONY JOSHUA stepped into the ring for an intense face-off with Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia ahead of their rematch this summer.

The 32-year-old Brit will seek to regain his IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles in Jeddah on August 20 after losing to the Ukrainian at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year.

4Joshua and Usyk came face-to-face in the ring on WednesdayCredit: Freddie Cunningham Instagram 4Joshua posed for a shoot inside the King Abdullah Stadium in JeddahCredit: Freddie Cunningham Instagram 4He then produced some shadowboxing for the camerasCredit: Freddie Cunningham Instagram 4The Brit also shadowboxed in the ring before locking eyes with UsykCredit: Freddie Cunningham Instagram

Joshua and Usyk went face-to-face at a press conference on Tuesday as they remained staring at one another for a long time in front of the cameras.

Then, at a press event on Wednesday, Joshua showcased some of his skills with a bit of shadowboxing inside the King Abdullah Stadium in Al Balad - which was filmed by his manager Freddie Cunningham.

And, after some more shadowboxing later on that evening, he then squared up to Usyk once more as they faced off in a boxing ring for the first time since their fight nine months ago.

After a lengthy staredown, there were calls for the pair to "separate" from each other.

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But yet again they refused to look away as the mind games continued two months out from their blockbuster heavyweight clash.

Joshua, whose only defeats have come to Andy Ruiz Jr and Usyk, has changed trainers in the lead-up to this crucial rematch - leaving long-time coach Rob McCracken for the accomplished Robert Garcia.

Speaking about the fight earlier this week, AJ said: "With Andy Ruiz, I think a lot of people can see before the fight things weren't 100 per cent. 

"But you've got to be strong and thick skinned, we take our loss like a man, because when I win I keep it moving, I think everybody, and if I lose you've got to stay humble as well in defeat.

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"So I kept it moving and I knew I could come back again and do what I have to do.

"The fight with Usyk, he bust my ass for some rounds and I have to take that defeat like a man as well.

"But I hold myself accountable, I'm someone who can admit when I'm wrong and hold my head high when I'm right. 

"In the fight in September I was wrong and he was right, and simply I have to reverse that role August 20."

Meanwhile, Usyk, who has returned from fighting the war in Ukraine in order to defend his belts, insists he will let his boxing do the talking.

He said: "As we all know, we are not in the best conditions at the moment back at home, but we are doing what we have to do, we doing my job together with my team and we are working hard on our goals.

"I never made some very loud and bright speeches, all I did was just work hard in my training camp and in my gym - that's what I'm gonna do until the date of the fight.

"And then I will enter the ring and make you happy with my boxing."

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San Francisco Giants | Anthony DeSclafanis latest IL stint could pose problems for SF Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Just as the Giants’ starting rotation returned to full force, another starter was forced back to the shelf Friday in a move that raises both short- and long-term concerns.

The inflammation in Anthony DeSclafani’s right ankle that flared up late last season and already cost him two months this season will force him to miss more time. The Giants placed him on the 15-day injured list Friday after two disappointing starts since returning from the 60-day injured list.

DeSclafani, who has a 9.95 ERA in five starts this season and hadn’t pitched past the third inning since being activated, never fully healed from inflammation in the ankle he uses to push off with in his delivery. In the two starts he made since returning to the Giants, manager Gabe Kapler described DeSclafani “hitting a wall.”

“When you’re trying to build up to be a starting pitching, hitting a wall with something as important as your drive ankle is not conducive to success going forward,” Kapler said. “I think there’s real concern there. He’s battled through this for a really long time. He’s pushed himself. He’s rehabbed. He’s done everything he possibly can and he’s still hitting the wall.

“It’s not the best takeaway when you’re not able to get over the hump and feel like your best and most effective version of yourself as a pitcher. I think we’ve gotten to a place now where we need to protect him and consider all options, but the first thing is not having him go out and make another start.”

Asked if surgery was an option, Kapler responded that “everything’s on the table.”

The Giants must take DeSclafani’s long-term health into consideration because they signed him to a three-year, $36 million contract before this season. After posting a 3.17 ERA in 31 starts last season, the Giants rewarded him with the longest contract handed out to a pitcher by president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.

In the short-term, though, DeSclafani’s absence presents problems for the Giants’ pitching depth.

Beginning Friday night against the White Sox, the Giants face a stretch of 17 games in 17 days before the All-Star break. And without DeSclafani, they only have four healthy starters.

“You would like to have off days spliced in there. It just makes things easier,” Kapler said. “But we’re no different than any other team that doesn’t have a perfectly healthy rotation. Right now we’ve got four healthy starters and that’s not the worst position to be in.”

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DeSclafani, who was also working on the shapes of his two-seamer and his slider while recovering from the ankle injury, was slated to make three more starts before the All-Star break.

Jakob Junis, who filled in brilliantly the last time DeScalfani was shelved (2.63 ERA in 48 IP), is still recovering from the hamstring strain he suffered a little more than three weeks ago. He threw a two-inning bullpen session Friday but won’t be an option for the Giants for at least another week or two.

The most likely option to fill those might be lanky right-hander Sean Hjelle, who was in the Giants’ clubhouse Friday but not activated for their series opener with the White Sox. Hjelle, 25, has gotten two brief call-ups this season and just turned in his most effective outing of the season at Triple-A, going five shutout innings while striking out six with no walks on Sunday.

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