All the Latest Information Ahead of the Highly Anticipated Rematch
Anthony Joshua is likely to face Oleksandr Usyk in London in April as he attempts to become a three-time world champion and win back the IBF, WBA and WBO belts from the Ukrainian, his promoter Eddie Hearn disclosed on Friday. Hearn said that Joshua gave only fleeting consideration to stepping aside to allow Tyson Fury, the WBC champion, to face Usyk in an undisputed heavyweight showdown.
Joshua has decided he should take up his rematch clause after losing to Usyk on points on Sept 25 and the fight is likely to be at Wembley Stadium or Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the venue of their first encounter.
Hearn, who said Joshua was finalising a new training team, said: “We had offers from overseas, but we are looking at Spurs or Wembley from the middle to end of April because we want to take the fight outdoors. That is a realistic time frame. I feel like it is a must-win, and doing the rematch on UK soil will make it pretty special. I never went formally to AJ with a step-aside deal, with ‘this is the money’. We don’t want to lose the opportunity to challenge for a world title – and we don’t want to risk being messed around.
“Is there enough trust anyway? Would Fury walk away if he won that fight [against Usyk], anyway? We might never get the chance. “He [Joshua] has the opportunity in his next fight against Usyk to win back the world titles again. He believes he can do it, and so do I. AJ does not have a definite new training team yet, but he will announce it formerly in the next few weeks. He’s not confirming yet whether Rob McCracken [Joshua’s long-term trainer] will be involved.”
Asked if a new trainer would be a risk in such an important fight, Hearn said: “It’s a huge risk. But if you feel you can’t go on without changes, they have to be made. AJ is excited, and he needs change.” Hearn disclosed that his team would be making a “powerful” case on behalf of Dillian Whyte, another of his fighters, when the purse bids are made on Monday for the WBC title between Fury and Whyte. They have been set as an 80/20 split by the WBC sanctioning body, but Hearn said that they could face a delay or could change with the promoter having launched an appeal against the slant in favour of Fury, calling it “ridiculous”.
“I think the fight will go ahead, possibly even in late April, but we think it’s a huge fight and Dillian deserves the opportunity,” Hearn said. However, Frank Warren, Fury’s UK trainer, told Telegraph Sport on Friday: “We believe the 80/20 purse split for Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte is correct. Whyte should accept it, as Fury did when he fought Wladimir Klitschko in Germany when he first won the belts. Or as he did when he came back to fight Deontay Wilder. I don’t know who Whyte thinks he is, but he should take his opportunity now he has it.”
Hearn also revealed that negotiations were ongoing for undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor to fight Amanda Serrano in a blockbuster women’s fight to take place at Madison Square Garden, New York, on April 30.
What is it?
A world heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk for the IBF, WBA and WBO belts.
When is it?
April 2022 is when the fight is likely to take place.
Where is it?
Should the fight go ahead, Wembley Stadium or Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the venue of their first encounter, are likely to stage the bout.
Hearn said: “We had offers from overseas, but we are looking at Spurs or Wembley from the middle to end of April because we want to take the fight outdoors. That is a realistic time frame. I feel like it is a must-win, and doing the rematch on UK soil will make it pretty special. I never went formally to AJ with a step-aside deal, with ‘this is the money’.
“We don’t want to lose the opportunity to challenge for a world title – and we don’t want to risk being messed around.
How to watch Joshua-Usyk II on TV
Joshua’s recent fights have been broadcast on Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view and it is highly likely to be the same again.