Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony will fight for yet another title when they meet in a rematch next weekend.
The two heavyweights are set to clash at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia on August 20 in a return for the WBA Super, IBO, IBF and WBO world titles.
Usyk’s clash with Britain’s Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) comes 11 months after the Ukrainian dethroned the former Olympic champion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Sky Sports Box Office will air the second Usyk-Joshua fight in the UK and Ireland after paying a staggering £23million for the rights.
And it will now have even more at stake after it was revealed that the vacant Ring Magazine title, released by Tyson Fury after the WBC champion confirmed his retirement from the sport earlier this week at the age of 34 and with a record of 32-0-1, 23 KOs, will be on the line along with the other four belts.
Former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk is ranked number one at heavyweight by The Ring, with ‘AJ’ sitting at number two.
The latter is desperate for revenge against the undefeated Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) as he bids to become a three-time unified global ruler. A win for him would mean that he would join Lennox Lewis and the aforementioned ‘Gypsy King’ Fury as one of only three British fighters to claim The Ring heavyweight title.
The Matchroom head honcho who has an interest in Usyk but whose golden goose is undoubtedly Joshua, is delighted with the news that The Ring belt has been added to an already-pressured showdown, Hearn told The Ring:
“Amongst the fighters, The Ring Magazine belt has so much prestige.
“I know for Anthony Joshua, he’s wanted to win this title for a long time. This gives him added motivation for victory next week. And I believe, come [next] Saturday night, Anthony Joshua will become the new Ring Magazine world champion.
“First and foremost, AJ wants the victory because he’s a competitor. He wants his world heavyweight championship belts back, but The Ring belt was there when it was him and [Deontay] Wilder at the top.
“We were trying to get that belt on the line for big fights then. This is a huge motivation for him going into Saturday.”
Hearn went on to say that he believes Tyson Fury’s retirement from the sport, for the umpteenth time and just days after he confirmed his return following a hiatus after April sixth-round defence of the WBC title – which has yet to be declared vacant – against number one-ranked contender Dillian Whyte.
“I do believe he’ll return to the sport, especially if AJ wins.
“Who knows? You may see him re-emerge for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
“But if he doesn’t, we wish him all the happiness and success. He’s been a tremendous fighter.”