The massive Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk world heavyweight title showdown has been confirmed for Saturday September 25 at at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Joshua (24-1) had been expected to face Tyson Fury in an enormous unification match in Saudi Arabia on August 14 – but that was scuppered when Deontay Wilder won an arbitration ruling to force his third fight with Fury. That will take place in Las Vegas on October 9.
AJ was left to pick up the pieces and find another opponent – in the shape of WBO mandatory challenger Usyk. The former undisputed cruiserweight king (18-0) has fought only twice at heavyweight since moving up in weight in 2019, but provides a stern test for Joshua.
We are locked in – Joshua
“The date is set and we are fully locked in,” said Joshua.
“September 25, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown. We are two Olympic Gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges.
“The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric, I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe inspiring venue. The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.”
Usyk meanwhile provided just a few cryptic words, reasoning: “The path will be mastered by the walking one.”
Joshua vs Usyk is expected to draw a crowd of around 60,000 to the palatial home of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, and the bout will be the last of AJ’s current broadcast contract with Sky Sports in the UK. After that he becomes a free agent, with a massive scramble expected to ensue for his future services.
Fury vs Joshua saga
Should Joshua prevail, and Fury again overcomes Wilder two weeks after that, it is expected negotiations will resume for that long-awaited all-British showdown for all the marbles.
The Saudis had put up a reported $155million (£109million) for that August date before those plans were ruined by Wilder’s legal victory.
Tickets for Joshua vs Usyk are not on sale as yet, but an announcement with details is expected to be made in the coming days.