Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 is a massive world heavyweight title showdown with even more massive ramifications.
We are so close to boxing being able to crown its first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999, and this bout should be the penultimate step on that long journey.
The winner of Usyk vs Joshua 2 will hopefully face off with ‘The Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury at some stage in the near future with all of the marbles in boxing’s marquee weight class on the line. At least that is the dream…
For now Joshua gets the chance to regain his world titles and exact revenge on Usyk after losing first time round to the spellbinding Ukrainian in London last September.
Here is a full rundown on everything you need to do as we start the final countdown to a monumental showdown.
When is Usyk vs Joshua 2?
Usyk vs Joshua 2 will finally take place on Saturday August 20, 2022.
The bout had been expected to take place in the first half of 2022, but Usyk had more important matters to deal with – helping the Ukrainian war effort after the invasion of his homeland by Russia.
While initially either the UK or Ukraine appeared to be the likely venue, money talked in the end and the bout will take place in the coastal city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
When AJ fought Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi in December 2019, ring walks came at around 9pm UK time, that’s 4pm Eastern Time in the United States. We would expect similar arrangements this time round.
Usyk vs Joshua 2 on TV: channel and live stream details
We thought this one would be an easy answer – Joshua recently signed an exclusive global deal with DAZN. Right? Wrong.
He did sign the exclusive global deal, but it transpires that it does not kick until AFTER the rematch with Usyk.
Instead, the rights for this one were available to the highest bidder and AJ’s former dance partner Sky Sports won the bidding vs DAZN with a massive offer.
The price of the PPV on Sky Sports Box Office has raised a few eyebrows – it will retail for £26.95. Previous Joshua bouts have generally been priced at £24.95.
Usyk vs Joshua 2 venue and tickets
The bout will take place in the King Abdullah Sports City Arena in Jeddah, and tickets (starting at SAR375) are available now.
We strongly suggest checking out the UK Government’s advice on travelling to Saudi Arabia (especially in light of the ongoing pandemic) before you do buy fight tickets.
What is at stake in Usyk vs Joshua 2?
Usyk holds three of the four major world heavyweight titles and they are all be on the line in the Joshua rematch:
- International Boxing Federation (IBF)
- World Boxing Association (WBA)
- World Boxing Organization (WBO)
Of course this isn’t the only prize. In theory a unification match vs WBC king Fury would come next. That could well be the richest fight in UK boxing history. Especially if it’s Fury vs Joshua.
Usyk vs Joshua 2 odds
Joshua was a hot favourite for the first meeting between these two men at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September (around the 4/11 mark), but not this time round.
Now Usyk heads the odds line with UK sportsbook Sky Bet – he is 5/8 with Joshua 9/5 and the Draw 27/1.
Usyk vs Joshua 2 weights
The weigh-in for Usyk vs Joshua 2 will take place in Saudi Arabia on Friday August 19, 2022.
For the first meeting in London last year AJ tipped the scales at a trim 240lbs (17st 2lbs).
Usyk meanwhile was a shade over 221lbs (15st 11lbs).
Anthony Joshua record
Anthony Joshua has been a superstar as an amateur and a superstar in the professional boxing ranks. He’s done it all.
AJ, born on October 15, 1989 and now 31 years old, was Olympic super-heavyweight champion at London 2012 to cap a glittering amateur career, before turning pro with Hearn’s Matchroom promotional outfit.
Since then he has fought 26 times with 24 victories and just two defeats – that shocking loss to Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in June 2019 and the defeat by Usyk in their first meeting last September.
AJ swiftly avenged that loss with an easy points win in their Saudi Arabia rematch in December 2019 – but can he do the same against Usyk?
The Watford man – who stands 6ft 6ins (1.98m) tall and has a reach of 82ins (2.08m), is one of the most devastating finishers in the sport. Some 22 of his 24 victories have come inside distance, with only Joseph Parker and Ruiz in that rematch taking him the full distance.
Joshua has beaten a string of top level heavyweights en route to holding the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles – including Ruiz, Parker, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev, Carlos Takam, Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina.
Perhaps his greatest moment as a professional so far though was that epic 11th-round stoppage of the great Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in April 2017. AJ proved he had cojones as well as talent and power by coming back from the brink of defeat to best Wlad in the penultimate session.
Oleksandr Usyk record
Like Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk was brilliant as an amateur and has been brilliant as a pro. He is another elite talent.
This sensational boxer from the Ukraine, like AJ, claimed gold at the London Olympics of 2012, this time in the heavyweight division. It was the exclamation point on a superb amateur career which finished with a stellar 335-15 record.
Usyk, who was born on January 17, 1987 and is now 34 years old, has now fought 19 times as a professional with a perfect 19-0 record. Some 13 of those 19 victories have come inside distance.
Oleksandr, who stands 6ft 3ins (1.91m) tall and has a reach of 78ins (1.98m), is a terrific technician who swept all before him in the cruiserweight division en route to unifying all of the major titles.
His slick skills mark him out as one of the greatest talents in the sport today, and he capped his reign at 200lbs by first dominating Murat Gassiev in Moscow in July 2018 and then knocking out Tony Bellew in Manchester four months later.
Since moving up to heavy, Usyk has fought twice – the first a comfortable success against Chazz Witherspoon in 2019 and then a much more difficult decision victory over Chisora in October 2020.
That fight with Chisora showed Usyk could hang with a big elite heavy, but also raised a few questions. Would he have the power to trouble the very very best in the marquee weight class? We got the answer when he stepped in with Joshua in front of 67,000 frenzied UK fans at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.
Usyk boxed brilliantly as ever, and was more than content to stand in the pocket and trade with the much bigger British man when the need arose. Oleksandr dominated the fight and even appeared to have AJ on the brink of a stoppage in the final round.
Joshua vs Usyk undercard
We have a tasty undercard for Usyk vs Joshua 2, topped by the IBF world heavyweight title final eliminator between Croatian Filip Hrgovic and Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang.
Liverpool’s Callum Smith (28-1, 20 KOs) returns to the scene of his finest moment where he stopped British rival George Groves in seven rounds at the King Abdullah Sports City Arena in September 2018 to be crowned the WBA Super-Middleweight World Champion and the winner of the World Boxing Super Series Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Now campaigning at Light-Heavyweight where he is ranked as the No.1 contender with the WBC, ‘Mundo’ will face France’s reigning European Champion and No.2 ranked WBC 175lbs contender Mathieu Bauderlique (21-1, 12 KOs) in a Final Eliminator for the World Title currently held by Artur Beterbiev.
In a huge moment for women’s boxing, Somali-British prospect Ramla Ali (6-0, 1 KO) becomes the first female boxer to feature in an official international event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, clashing with Crystal Garcia Nova (10-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-round Super-Bantamweight contest.
Former two-weight World Champion Badou Jack (26-3-3) fights Richard Rivera (21-0, 16 KOs) in a 10-round Cruiserweight contest. Andrew Tabiti (19-1, 15 KOs) and Tyrone Spong (14-0, 13 KOs) collide in an eight-round Heavyweight contest. There’s also action for Ukrainian Light-Heavyweight Daniel Lapin (5-0) as he continues his education in the paid code against Slovakia’s Jozef Jurko (9-6-1, 6 KOs) and Super-Lightweight prospect Ziyad Almaayouf faces Mexico’s Jose Alatorre (0-1).