A confirmed date and venue for Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 should be finalised within the next two weeks.
The eagerly-awaited rematch for the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles is expected to finally go down in June, with final details to be confirmed.
Usyk back in training
The bout had been in a state of limbo when Russia invaded Usyk’s homeland of Ukraine, and the fighter returned home to fight with a territorial defence unit.
Now though he has returned to training and is preparing to defend the titles he won from Joshua with a masterful performance in their first meeting last September. Negotiations to agree a date and venue are ongoing, and apparently getting closer to a resolution.
Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk told Sky Sports: “Within the next two weeks we expect to finalise details.”
For Usyk (19-0) of course the rematch with Joshua will be the first defence of those IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles. Meanwhile Joshua (24-2) bids to become a world heavyweight champion for a third time after winning back the titles once against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in late 2019.
Saudi to stage rematch?
It appears Saudi Arabia is very much in the mix to stage this fight too, having just missed on that blockbusting Fury vs Joshua showdown which had been planned for last August.
A record $155million site fee had been agreed to stage the undisputed showdown in Saudi, but of course Deontay Wilder scuppered that plan by winning a legal ruling to force a third fight with Fury.
The possibility of a huge fight to unify the heavyweight titles for the first time since Lennox Lewis held them back in 1999 is still there. Fury defends his WBC, Ring magazine and lineal titles vs Dillian Whyte at Wembley on April 23. The winner of that could yet meet the Usyk vs Joshua 2 winner for all the marbles.
There is one other notable piece of information to confirm for Usyk vs Joshua 2 – which TV network will show the fight in the UK. While Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has an exclusive arrangement with streaming platform DAZN, this does not include AJ.
Joshua’s most recent Sky Sports deal meanwhile expired after the first Usyk fight, meaning he is now a broadcast free agent in his biggest media market.