Anthony Joshua is set to face Oleksandr Usyk after his undisputed fight with Tyson Fury has been suspended.
Joshua was scheduled to meet Fury to unite the heavyweight titles this summer, but the Gypsy King has been ordered to step down and face 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 undefeated in his 18 pro fights to date and defeated Derek Chisora last October.
The Ukrainian will pose an extremely difficult 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 fight so far …
Joshua vs. Usyk: date and time
No official date has yet been set for this, but the two heavyweights are expected to tackle it in September.
A venue has not yet been announced, but the fight is expected to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a capacity of 62,000 people.
Joshua was scheduled to face Pulev at the new Tottenham pitch last June, but that fight had to be transferred to Wembley Arena in December due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If London is to be the host city for the clash, UK fans can expect the main event to begin around 10:30 p.m.
All confirmed details on the fight are expected to be released before the end of the month.
Joshua vs. Usyk: Undercard
- MAIN EVENT: Anthony Joshua (c) vs. Oleksandr Usyk – For WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles
Joshua v Usyk: What was said?
Anthony Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn: “Usyk is a top pound for pound fighter, and he’s the undisputed cruiserweight champion, and AJ is continually fighting these guys to get a letter saying ‘You must do it “.
“And at some point, with the way he’s feeling right now and the way I’m feeling right now, 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 unfortunately it is an obligation to be champion.
“To be honest, it feels like we always have to make someone or something happy and that usually comes from the top.
“If you look at the string of fights Joshua has had since Wladimir Klitschko. He was ordered to fight a compulsory right after that, it was [Kubrat] Pulev. He accepted this fight, then Pulev retired with a week to go and he boxed [Carlos] Takam. It was his proxy.
“In his next fight, he fought Joseph Parker in a unification fight.
“In the ensuing fight, he was told he had to face a mandatory WBO against Aleksandr Povetkin, a pretty good Povetkin, by the way, at the time. And after that he had a volunteering [defence]. Who did he have as a volunteer? Andy Ruiz. He loses against him.
“He’s fighting Andy Ruiz again, and then he’s now being told that you have another proxy.” It’s Kubrat Pulev. OKAY. You fight Kubrat Pulev.
“Now you are trying to make the fight unchallenged and now you are told you have another obligatory which is Oleksandr Usyk.”
Joshua v Usyk: Tale of the Band
Anthony Joshua – Oleksandr Usyk
Nationality: British – Ukrainian
Age: 31 – 34
Height: 6 ft 6 – 6 ft 3
Position: Orthodox – Left-handed
Range: 82 inches – 78 inches
Summary: 24-1-0 – 18-0-0
KO: 22 – 13
Rounds: 112 – 144
Start: 05/10/2013 – 11/09/2013