By: Sean Crose
“July 23rd was obviously the proposed date,” promoter Eddie Hearn said, via the DAZN Boxing Show in regard to the highly anticipated rematch between Anthony Joshua and heavyweight multi-titlist Oleksandr Usyk. “We got to a point where we’re now less than seven weeks ago. We’ve got global media tours, you know, we’ve got TV rights to secure and international sponsorship deals. You’re going to see that fight in August. 13 and 20 are the two proposed dates.” The rematch is certainly one that fans – particularly European fans – are eager to see. Hearn made it clear that an official announcement is essentially right around the figurative corner.
“We are literally signing the paperwork as we go in the last 24 hours,” he said, “so you will get an official announcement pretty soon.” Hearn then went on to present some details surrounding the impending fight. “The international media tour will commence June 20 or something like that,” he said. “The fight is on. The fight is happening in the Middle East, looks pretty much set. I’ll save the exact titles for the announcement. We’re pretty much there now.” Of course boxing fans have good reason not to believe anything they hear until there’s ink put on a contract. With that being said, it’s obvious at this point that Usyk-Joshua 2 is nearly official.
The first Joshua-Usyk battle, which went down in England last September, was something (“something” being the operative heard here) of a surprise. Usyk, the smaller of the two fighters – he had been the undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world, after all – clearly and decidedly outboxed Joshua en route to lifting the towering Englishman’s heavyweight title belts from his possession. Both fighters were clearly happy with the prospect of fighting again. The war in Usyk’s Ukrainian homeland however, led Usyk to do the patriotic thing and head home to help defend his nation. Since then, though, Usyk has felt it’s once more appropriate to engage in the fight game. He’s been preparing for the Joshua rematch for a while now.
As for Joshua, he’s clearly going to have to come up with a fresh strategy if he hopes to win his title belts back. It appears the man is aware of this, for, as the BBC puts it: “American coach Robert Garcia has been hired with Joshua expected to adopt a more aggressive approach for the rematch.”
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