The rematch was in jeopardy after Usyk returned to Ukraine to defend his country from a Russian invasion, but he will now fight Joshua for a second time in June
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Joshua lost his heavyweight title to former cruiserweight king Usyk last September. A rematch between the two has since been sought but was recently put in jeopardy after Usyk returned Ukraine to help in the fight against Russian attacks in the country.
Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn insisted the rematch would go ahead still take place despite the ongoing crisis. Their second fight appeared to be heading to London, with Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium being potential candidates to host the fight.
But Saudi Arabia have now reportedly spent £90million to host the rematch, with June 25 claiming to be the front-runner MailOnline. The price of the fight is a third higher than the £60million paid by Saudi for Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz in 2019.
Both fighters recently hinted the rematch would happen, with Usyk continuing to write Instagram: “I have decided to start preparing for a rematch Anthony Joshua. A large number of my friends support me, everyone else all the best and peace, thank God for everything.”
Usyk’s training announcement came just three weeks after he questioned a rematch against Joshua, saying, “I really don’t know when I’m going to get back in the ring. My country and my honor are more important to me than a championship belt.”
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Joshua has fond memories of competing in the Middle Eastern country after regaining his titles against Ruiz in Diriyah. ‘AJ’ lost his unified titles to short-term replacement Ruiz in a major uproar six months before their rematch.
Joshua will seek to become only the sixth three-time heavyweight champion in boxing history by avenging his loss to Usyk. The Briton has promoted assistant coach Angel Fernandez to his head coach after being encouraged to ditch longtime coach Rob McCracken following the Usyk defeat.
He had been pictured in Dubai training with Anthony Wilson and US training with the likes of Virgil Hunter and Ronnie Shields during his search for a new coach. Hearn also admitted he thought it was time for Joshua to “move on” ahead of McCracken’s rematch.
Joshua was encouraged to withdraw from his rematch against Usyk earlier this year to allow for an undisputed fight between them Tyson Fury and the Ukrainian. Talks over the undisputed clash fell through at the last minute and Fury will now fight the mandatory WBC challenger Dillian Whyte next month.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/boxing/anthony-joshua-oleksandr-usyk-rematch-26577988 Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk rematch date and venue 'confirmed'