Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk venue and date to be confirmed ‘in next two weeks’

Usyk has left his native Ukraine, which has been invaded by Russia, to train for a rematch with ‘AJ’

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Monday 04 April 2022 12:46
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Anthony Joshua reflects on Oleksandr Usyk loss and previews rematch

An announcement around the date and venue for Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk could come in the next fortnight, according to the Ukrainian’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk.

Joshua lost the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles to Usyk in September, when the unbeaten southpaw outpointed the Briton in north London. “AJ” soon triggered a rematch clause to set up a second fight with Usyk, though a failed step-aside deal and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have both been hurdles in the journey to a rematch between the pair.

At the start of this year, Joshua’s monetary demands reportedly thwarted a deal that would have seen the former two-time champion step aside to allow Usyk to fight WBC title holder Tyson Fury in a unification bout. Then, last month, Usyk returned to his native Ukraine to aid its defence against the ongoing invasion by Russia.

Usyk has now left the country, however, to begin training for a rematch with Joshua.

“Within the next two weeks we expect to finalise details,” Krassyuk told Sky Sports.

“Late June is also the timing we are considering now,” he said last week. “Many things will depend on how fast we manage to ink the papers. The good thing is that Usyk is already in Europe to start his preparation.”

Meanwhile, 35-year-old Usyk has explained his decision to leave Ukraine and begin training for a rematch with Joshua, saying in a social-media video: “That’s how I will help my country more, and it’s better than being in territorial defence and running around Kyiv with a machine gun.

“Many of my friends and close ones called me and supported me in this. Haters, I wish you well and wish you happiness, joy and peace. Everything will be with God’s blessing. Wishing everyone well.”

Saudi Arabia has been named as a potential location for the rematch, though Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has said he and his fighter are keen on the contest taking place in the UK.

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