WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO champion of the world Anthony Joshua will have his fight against Oleksandr Usyk signed this week for September, Joshua’s promoter and Matchroom MD Eddie Hearn has confirmed.
After registering a 9th round TKO win over Kubrat Pulev on 12th December last year at The SSE Arena in London, Joshua was slated to square off against WBC heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury for the undisputed crown.
Although the much anticipated fight reaching legitimate talks and even a date and venue, it had to be chucked after former WBC champion Deontay Wilder won his arbitration case for a Trilogy against Fury, essentially rendering Joshua without a fight to prepare for.
It’s a great fight, a dangerous fight: Hearn weighs in on Joshua vs Usyk
After much speculations and a shortlist of the probable opponents “AJ” was likely to square off against, a fight was ordered against the mandatory challenger and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Now, the fight will be signed this week for a date in September, with Eddie Hearn hinting that the fight will head for London, which hosted both Joshua and Usyk’s previous appearances in the squared circle.
“I can tell you that this week, that this is a more confident footing than the Joshua – Fury negotiations because I know Alex Krassyuk very well, and I know Usyk very well,” Hearn spoke on the DAZN Boxing Show, “This week, that fight will be signed. We’re looking at September in London.”
“Just finalizing the details. It’s a great fight, a dangerous fight. It’s not the one we necessarily wanted or expected,” the British promoter acknowledged, “but it’s a high-level heavyweight fight. It’s a unified heavyweight champion against the undisputed cruiserweight champion, and on we go with that fight – it’s a big event.”
Usyk, the undefeated Ukrainian who goes by the nickname “The Cat”, was last seen in action against Derek Chisora on 31st October last year at the English capital, where he won the WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title via unanimous decision.
As a former WBO cruiserweight titleholder, Usyk is the mandatory challenger with the World Boxing Organization as the organisation allows their champions to challenge for the title in the next higher weight class.