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Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk 2 targeted for “May or June” says Eddie Hearn

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

By Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn has been hard at work checking out different countries to stage the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksander 2 rematch in May or June.

Hearn just returned from the Middle East, where he’s had meetings about potentially staging the Joshua-Usyk II fight there.

Although Hearn prefers to bring the two fighters back to the UK, he’ll stage the rematch in the Middle East if the money is right.

Hearn is adamant about bringing the Joshua vs. Usyk rematch back to the UK, perhaps knowing that AJ will need all the help that he can get for him to win.

Until Hearn’s update today, many people doubted whether Joshua, 32, would take the fight. I mean, it’s been months since Joshua activated his rematch clause to force a second fight with Usyk, yet nothing is scheduled.

Hearn scouting out the Middle East 

Tyson Fury believes Joshua doesn’t fancy the job, knowing that Usyk will beat him again.

I’ve just come back from the Middle East. We’ve had numerous meetings with different countries in the Middle East to stage that fight,” Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn said to the DAZN Boxing Show.

With the British fans rooting Joshua on, he might be able to rally when things start looking bleak for him against the talented IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).

To be sure, staging the Joshua-Usyk rematch in the Middle East will displease UK boxing fans, but oh well. This might be Joshua’s last fight, so you can’t blame him if he chooses to get a final monstrous payday as he heads out the door.

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

Given that Joshua seemed to fall apart mentally when he went on the road to fight Andy Ruiz Jr. for the first time in June 2019 in New York, it might be a good idea for Hearn to place the rematch with Usyk in the UK.

The last thing that Hearn wants is Joshua to space out and lose it mentally when he’s not being cheered nonstop by the fans. That’s problems with fighters accustomed to fighting at home in front of their adoring boxing fans.

When you take those fighters on the road, they sometimes struggle when they’re not being cheered after every punch thrown the way Joshua is in the UK.

Eddie to meet with Usyk’s manager this week

“Egis Klimas and Oleksandr Usyk are actually in the UK this week, so we’re going to sit down with them and just talk through everything,” Hearn said.

“We’re getting to a stage now where we’re going to start thinking about securing a date which will be the end of May or June.

“There’s nothing that’s going to stop Anthony Joshua from taking that fight,” said Hearn about the rematch with Usyk.

You got to hope that Joshua has thought this through thoroughly and knows what he’s getting himself into with his decision to face Usyk again.

It seems like a dumb idea on Joshua’s part to rush straight into a rematch with Usyk rather than taking a couple of confidence-boosters to prepare him mentally.

If Joshua gets battered & beaten a second time by Usyk, it’s going to be open season on Hearn with boxing fans royally dumping on him.

As long as Hearn knows what he’s getting himself into by giving Joshua the greenlight to face Usyk again, it shouldn’t be too much of a shock for him afterward when he starts getting dumped on by fans.

It’ll be interesting to know what Joshua decides to do should he lose the rematch. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Usyk destroys Joshua by a devastating knockout in the rematch. Will AJ continue his career? Should he? Maybe it won’t be so bad for Joshua?

If the UK fans are still backing Dereck Chisora as a star after 12 defeats, perhaps they won’t mind Joshua losing to Usyk a second time?




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