sport breaking news
Anthony Joshua is set to face Oleksandr Usyk next after his undisputed fight with Tyson Fury was put on hold.
Joshua was expected to meet Fury to unite the heavyweight titles this summer but the Gypsy King was ordered to pull out and take on Deontay Wilder in their trilogy clash instead.
AJ has now had to find a new opponent and is preparing to take on dangerous WBO mandatory challenger Usyk later this year.
‘The Cat’ is unbeaten in his 18 professional bouts to date and saw off Derek Chisora last October.
The Ukrainan will pose a hugely tough test for Joshua who must win to keep his hopes of claiming all the heavyweight belts alive.
Here’s what we know about the intriguing bout so far…
Joshua v Usyk: Date and time
An official date has not been set for this yet but the two heavyweights are expected to go at it in September.
A venue is also yet to be announced but the fight is set to be staged at the 62,000-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Joshua was set to face Pulev at Tottenham’s new ground last June but that fight had to be switched to the Wembley Arena in December due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If London is to be the host city of the clash, UK fans can expect the main event to get under way at around 10:30pm.
Full confirmed details on the fight are expected to be made before the end of the month.
Joshua v Usyk: Undercard
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- MAIN EVENT: Anthony Joshua (c) vs Oleksandr Usyk – For WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles
Joshua v Usyk: What has been said?
Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn: “Usyk is a pound-for-pound top fighter, and he’s the undisputed cruiserweight champion, and AJ is continuously fighting these guys that he gets a letter about telling him ‘You must do this’.
“And at some point, with the way he’s feeling at the moment, and the way I’m feeling at the moment, you don’t want to be told what to do.
“We understand [the sanctioning body] responsibilities. [Joshua] wants to fight for the undisputed world championship, and that is unfortunately an obligation of being a champion.
“To be honest, it feels like we’re always having to please somebody or something and that generally comes from the governing bodies.
“If you look at the run of fights that Joshua has had since Wladimir Klitschko. He was ordered to fight a mandatory straight after that, it was [Kubrat] Pulev. He accepted that fight and then Pulev pulled out with a week to go and he boxed [Carlos] Takam. That was his mandatory.
“In his next fight he fought Joseph Parker in a unification fight.
“In the fight after that he was told he had to face a WBO mandatory against Aleksandr Povetkin, a quite prime Povetkin, by the way, at the time. And after that he had a voluntary [defence]. Who did he have as a voluntary? Andy Ruiz. He loses to him.
“He fights Andy Ruiz again and then he’s told now you’ve got another mandatory. It’s Kubrat Pulev. OK. You fight Kubrat Pulev.
“Now you try to make the undisputed fight and now you’re told you have another mandatory, it’s Oleksandr Usyk.”
Joshua v Usyk: Tale of the tape
Anthony Joshua – Oleksandr Usyk
Nationality: British – Ukrainan
Age: 31 – 34
Height: 6ft 6 – 6ft 3
Stance: Orthodox – Southpaw
Reach: 82in – 78in
Record: 24-1-0 – 18-0-0
KOs: 22 – 13
Rounds: 112 – 144
Debut: 10/5/2013 – 9/11/2013