Anthony Joshua’s next world title defence has finally been announced and on September 25 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Oleksandr Usyk will be tasked with dethroning the Brit.
After months of arduous played out public spats and negotiations that eventually put the undisputed title fight between Joshua and Tyson Fury on the shelf, fans are now given a more than suitable alternative between two 2012 Olympic Gold medallists.
Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBO title and on the night in front of over 60,000 fans ‘AJ’ will also defend his IBF and WBA championships.
“The date is set and we are fully locked in,” said Joshua via a Matchroom press release. “September 25, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown. We are two Olympic Gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges.
“The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric, I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe inspiring venue. The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.”
Usyk, undefeated in 18 fights and on many a pound-for-pound list, has yet to really set his heavyweight campaign alight but did handle the bull-like charges of Dereck Chisora on Halloween last year.
The Ukrainian had little to say about his next fight but as always it was full of thought and mystery.
“The path will be mastered by the walking one.”
Despite the shock blip against Andy Ruiz Jr, a win he avenged, Joshua has taken on all-comers not named Fury or Wilder. The 31-year-old powerhouse has wins over Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Ruiz and most recently against Kubrat Pulev. Usyk, however, may present the biggest threat of them all.
Alexander Krassyuk, General Director at K2 Promotions is already confident that we will see the rematch with his man holding the three titles.
“This is a huge fight between two gentlemen of the sport. Wow! The two London 2012 Olympic Champions are set to collide for the Heavyweight crowns. Let the best man win, and we will see you again for the rematch!”
Meanwhile Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is thrilled at the prospect of staging another monster heavyweight night.
“Olympic Gold vs. Olympic Gold, Unified World Heavyweight Champion vs. Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion this one has it all and I can’t wait to stage this huge event in front of over 60,000 at the stunning Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.”
Joshua v Usyk will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office and an announcement on tickets will be made in due course.