The upcoming rematch between reigning unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and former champion Anthony Joshua has been a hot potato in the boxing community for months, and there has been a massive lead regarding the date of the fight, as latest reports claim that Usyk vs Joshua 2 will be taking place on 23rd July, likely in Saudi Arabia.
The claim was made by Mike Coppinger of ESPN on Twitter. In the wake of Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) defeating 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, AJ had exercised his contractual right to an immediate rematch on 10th October.
However, the date of the rematch remained in uncertain territories and throughout last month, was met with massive speculations due to Usyk joining the Ukrainian military resistance against the Russian invasion and the ongoing war between the two neighboring countries but was later granted permission from the Ukrainian Sports Minister to depart the country for the bout. Now, as Coppinger reports, the much awaited and one of the biggest fights of the year is only three months from now.
ESPN’s report and Usyk’s promoter favour Saudi Arabia to be Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 venue but Eddie Hearn fancies the UK
In the meantime, the venue of the fight also remains a topic of discussion, but Coppinger’s report also added that Saudi Arabia still remains the favourite to be the venue of the rematch. It was also put forward by Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk last month.
“This location [Saudi Arabia] is under discussion at the moment,” Krassyuk told Sky Sports, “Late June is also the timing we are considering now. 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.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, however, believes the fight may take place on English soil. “I reckon within two weeks we’ll have some news in terms of where that’s going to be,” Hearn told BBC Sport regarding Usyk vs Joshua 2 venue, “An option is in the UK. The difference is, we don’t really need negotiations with a venue in the UK, we just book it.”
- Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 reportedly taking place on 23rd July, likely in Saudi Arabia
- Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk had also named Saudi Arabia as the venue but Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn believes the fight could be in the UK