By: Sean Crose
He stunned a lot of people when he bested Anthony Joshua for Joshua’s plethora of world heavyweight titles last year. Now it looks like Oleksandr Usyk might get a chance to prove his (somewhat surprising) win over Joshua wasn’t a fluke this coming April. Although it’s widely accepted that a rematch between the two men will be happening sooner rather than later, promoter Eddie Hearn is now letting it be known that April may well be the month when Usyk-Joshua 2 goes down.
“I think April is realistic for that fight,” Hearn told the media on Friday. “Before you know it, it’s going to be February and these fights take a lot of organizing.” Hearn added that location has a lot to do with the decision for when the much anticipated rematch will transpire. “For us, the preferred date and venue for that fight will be the U.K.,” he stated, “in which case we would have to do the fight outside, so we’re not really interested in doing that fight in March.”
With that in mind, Usyk’s team has made it clear that they want the rematch to go down in the defending titlist’s homeland – the Ukraine. It appears, though, that a homecoming fight for Usyk isn’t going to happen – at least not at the moment. “We’ve got the ability to stage the fight where we want,” said Hearn, “but at the same time it has to generate enough money to know that we have done our jobs. Kiev (the Ukranian capital) is not the place to generate money, other places outside of the U.K. will be considered. I don’t believe the fight will take place in Kiev.”
No matter where the rematch may be held, Hearn indicates that Joshua will be prepared. After losing his titles to Usyk last year, Joshua is looking to put a new team together so that he’s more effective in the rematch. “We know really where we’re heading from a training perspective,” Hearn told the media, “and the set-up for the next fight. It’s not like we’re just floating around not really knowing what we’re doing and AJ has been very meticulous in an approach to setting up that new team.”
With a rematch clause having been a part of the contract for the first fight, a second battle between Usyk and Joshua is clearly going to happen…unless of course, something catastrophic occurs, or one of the two combatants takes money from a third part in order to step aside. That scenario, however, is appearing increasingly unlikely.
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