The eagerly-awaited Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 rematch is “all agreed ” and is set to take place in July, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
AJ will bid to become a world heavyweight champion for a third time when he tries to win his titles back against the brilliant Ukrainian. He lost them in their first meeting at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.
The rematch had been set to take place earlier in 2022, but that of course could not happen as Usyk’s Ukraine homeland was torn apart by that Russian invasion. The IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight king himself went home to join a territorial defence unit to aid the fight against Vladimir Putin’s troops.
Now though Usyk is back in training and it appears the rematch is very much back on with a month now pencilled in to stage it.
Hearn on Usyk vs Joshua 2
Hearn told talkSPORT Breakfast: “The fight’s all done, it’s all agreed. It’s 100 per cent Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk the rematch.
“We’re finalising the location at the moment, his team are in London this week so we’re gonna sit down with them. I think in two weeks time we’ll finalise the date. It will be July. And hopefully AJ can become a three-time heavyweight world champion.”
The likely venues at this stage for the big showdown would appear to be either London again, or Saudi Arabia. The latter of course had been willing to put up a monstrous $155million site fee to stage a Tyson Fury vs Joshua unification match last summer. Joshua won the world title for the second time in Saudi when he outpointed Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019.
We still could get that long-awaited Fury vs Joshua showdown of course – assuming both men win their upcoming bouts. If Fury defeats Dillian Whyte on Saturday, and then AJ wrestles the IBF, WBA and WBO straps back from Usyk, it would in theory be game on again for the biggest heavyweight fight of all. For all of the marbles.
One other major detail still to be determined for Usyk vs Joshua 2 is which UK broadcaster will air the fight. AJ’s contract with Sky Sports ended with that loss in their first fight last year, and Sky and streaming giants DAZN are leading the race for his signature on a new deal.