The Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk rematch, one of the most anticipated boxing fights of the year, will likely head to Saudi Arabia in late June as Alex Krassyuk, the promoter of the reigning unified world heavyweight champion Usyk himself spilled the beans about the venue.
Since Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) had defeated Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) via unanimous decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on 25th September last year to clinch the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO titles, the rematch has been a hot topic with AJ himself officially exercised his contractual right to an immediate rematch on 10th October.
However, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month and the ongoing war between the two neighboring nations, Usyk decided to take up arms to defend Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion and the ongoing war, joining his fellow compatriots Vasiliy Lomachenko, Wladimir Klitschko, and Vitali Klitschko. While many fans lauded “The Cat” for taking a stance for his country, it also pushed the rematch into uncertain territories.
Nevertheless, it was confirmed last week that Usyk had been granted permission by Vadym Gutzeit, the current Ukrainian Youth and Sport Minister and a former Olympics gold medallist in sabre fencing, to leave Ukraine amidst the war against Russia when all able-bodied men from ages 18 to 60 are barred from escaping the country, which re-initiated the rematch talks.
Anthony Joshua potentially returning to Saudi Arabia to face Oleksandr Usyk for the rematch
Now, Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk has revealed to Sky Sports that Saudi Arabia has been discussed as the potential venue to host the rematch, which Krassyuk expects to take place towards the end of June.
“This location [Saudi Arabia] is under discussion at the moment,” said Krassyuk “Late June is also the timing we are considering now. Many things will depend on how fast we manage to ink the papers,” Krassyuk continued about the Joshua vs. Usyk 2 rematch. “The good thing is that Usyk is already in Europe to start his preparation.”
Saudi Arabia, a venue not unfaimilar to Joshua, was also hinted by his promoter Eddie Hearn last month. Joshua, who had earlier lost his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO belts against Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019, regained his titles in the rematch which also took place at the Diriyah Arena. Now, the same venue may potentially offer the Briton the same chance once again.
- Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk rematch may possibly be heading to Saudi Arabia
- Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk reveals Saudi Arabia to be under discussion as the venue
- Joshua had earlier faced Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch in Saudi Arabia as well