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Eddie Hearn says Joshua vs. Usyk 2 in April at Tottenham or Wembley Stadium

Image: Eddie Hearn says Joshua vs. Usyk 2 in April at Tottenham or Wembley Stadium

By Jack Tiernan: Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk 2 is heading towards the UK in April at either Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium or Wembley Stadium.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn told ESPN that he’s looking at those two venues for the Joshua-Usyk II rematch in April. Packing 100,000 fans in Wembley Stadium would be ideal, but that would depend on whether the UK government will allow large crowds to gather.

Tottenham is where Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) defeated Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) four months ago on September 25th in winning a 12 round unanimous decision to relieve him of his IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight titles.

Joshua, 32, has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to step aside to let Usyk face WBC champion Tyson Fury for the undisputed championship.

That would be the noble and intelligent thing for Joshua to do because he would be able to guarantee himself a massive payday and a chance to fight for the undisputed championship.

The way Joshua is doing it, there’s a chance that he’ll be picked off by Usyk a second time in front of his British boxing fans in London.

Joshua needs an open mind

A second defeat would make it VERY difficult for Joshua to come back from, but it depends on his frame of mind. As long as Joshua is open-minded about taking another loss, he should be fine.

Look at Dereck Chisora, for example, as a fighter that has lost many times, and he’s still hugely popular in the UK.

Image: Eddie Hearn says Joshua vs. Usyk 2 in April at Tottenham or Wembley Stadium

He would need to fight someone like Deontay Wilder in a losers bracket, with the winner facing the Usyk vs. Fury winner for the undisputed championship in late 2022 or early 2023.

“In April, you can expect to see Joshua and Usyk and maybe even Whyte against Fury in April,” said Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing. “Alex Krassyuk called me just before this Zoom, and I said I’ll call him back in 20 minutes. So we’re working on the dates and the venue for that fight. Just stand by.”

Joshua should step aside

Again, Joshua should do the noble thing and step aside to let Fury and Usyk fight is out for the undisputed championship, but you can’t blame AJ for being selfish.

He’s trying to rebuild his career quickly as he did after his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019. It worked for Joshua once to steam straight into a rematch, so perhaps it’ll work again. If not, there’s always the losers bracket fight with Deontay for Joshua.

“Tyson Fury is the lineal heavyweight champion of the world, and I believe that he’s the best heavyweight in the world,” said Max Kellerman to Max on Boxing.

“There is a legitimate dispute to his throne. How about a fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua?”

“It has to happen already. The heavyweight division is what makes boxing go, and having an undisputed champion would help the sport out tremendously, I think. Not to mention, these are great fights inside the ring,” said Mike Coppinger.

“Fury owes a fight to Dillian Whyte, and Usyk owes Joshua a rematch. But there are some efforts behind the scenes to allow both Whyte and Joshua to step aside so that we can have Fury and Usyk proceed in the first half of 2022.

“Will it happen? I’m not sure. I think it’s a fascinating fight, and if anything I’ve learned, I’m not doubting Usyk again. I counted him out against Joshua, and he made me look foolish. So I would not count him out against Fury with those fast, intelligent feet,” said Coppinger.

“No, he would have chances with Usyk, but I don’t understand the step aside here,” said Kellerman. “I think Joshua-Usyk is an interesting rematch.

“I think Tyson Fury has an interesting fight in the interim [against Whyte], and this leads me to something else here. Let’s say they do a rematch, Usyk & Joshua, and Joshua loses again.

AJ vs. Deontay Wilder losers bracket

“To me, you can have a losers bracket between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, even if they’re both coming off losses. Who cares?

“It wouldn’t be as big if it were for the heavyweight championship of the world, and they were both undefeated as we once upon a time thought we might get.

“But it’s still a mega-event, you would have to think it’s a huge event, and it would promise to be entertaining and dramatic. Joshua against Deontay Wilder,” said Kellerman.

“Let’s make this one happen already,” said Coppinger on a hypothetical fight between former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder and Joshua. “Deontay Wilder is 36 right now. It’s kind of now or never, and maybe it would show boxers and fans that losses don’t matter.

“I know Floyd Mayweather with 50-0; the O is so important now because a lot of fighters look up to Mayweather, but losses don’t matter. Joshua and Wilder, two of the biggest punchers in the sport. Wilder is a pretty big star in the sport now too.

“You could fill out Wembley Stadium and two vulnerable fighters. I love this one too. Make it happen,” said Coppinger on a possible fight between recently beaten Joshua and Wilder.

“Right, like wouldn’t there be over 100,000 people at Wembley Stadium? Yes, there would be, and just ask yourself,” said Kellerman.

“They’re charging you 75 bucks on pay-per-view, and it’s ding-ding, round one Joshua and Deontay Wilder. Are you watching? Yeah, and you’re watching it live if you’re a fight fan,” said Kellerman.

A losers bracket is the perfect situation for Joshua because he can make huge money fighting the twice-beaten Wilder at Wembley Stadium. The fans in the UK would love to see Joshua and Wilder square off, throwing bombs.

Wilder has seemed hesitant about fighting Joshua in the past, but he might be willing to do so now with his career having sunk to its lowest level after his back-to-back knockout losses to Fury.

Aside from the Usyk vs. Fury winner, there’s no bigger fight out there for Joshua than a losers bracket fight against Wilder. Hopefully, Joshua keeps an open mind about absorbing another loss to Usyk and doesn’t do something hasty like retiring. We’ll see what happens.

 




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