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Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk to be announced next week for July 23rd

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

By Sam Volz: Anthony Joshua and IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk are expected to have their rematch announced next week by Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn for July 23rd in Saudi Arabia.

Although Hearn is still playing coy about the exact location for the Joshua vs. Usyk 2 rematch, Saudi Arabia appears to be where it’ll be staged.

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) has chosen to ignore the advice given to him by many boxing fans that he should steer clear of a second fight against Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) after losing to him in a one-sided manner last September in London, England.

The 32-year-old Joshua believes he got it wrong the first time against the former undisputed cruiserweight Usyk by boxing him in a technical fight.

AJ thinks he can get the victory by using his size, power, and aggression to stomp the much lighter Usyk in the rematch. Up until Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. in December 2019, he’d always used his power game to steamroll his opponents.

“All our focus at the moment is to complete that fight and that contract which we will do this week, and you will get an announcement next week,” Hearn said to IFL TV on the long-awaited rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk.

“Yes, you will get an announcement next week, then tomorrow something could take a bit longer on a contract, an escrow.”

Fighting aggressively had worked well for Joshua, other than his loss to Ruiz in their first encounter in June 2019.

One big obstacle Joshua may have in fighting in an aggressive, fast-paced manner against Usyk is that it’ll require a gas tank to compete at that level in a contest that could stretch into the later rounds.

What happens with Joshua if he hits the wall and has nothing left in the second half of the fight with Usyk? We saw how Usyk was battering Joshua at will with punches in the 12th round of their fight at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium last September. That came after AJ expended energy trying to shoot for a late knockout.

Joshua’s decision to activate his rematch clause to force a second fight with Usyk could turn around and bite him in the backside and perhaps leading to another crushing defeat. Only this time, Joshua’s career could be essentially over after a second loss to Usyk, especially if he loses by knockout.

“I’ll do my best; as I talk to you now, I believe you’ll get an announcement next week. There are options, but that is the front runner right now,” said Hearn.

Hearn has kept strangely quiet about the possible consequences of Joshua choosing to insist on the immediate rematch with Usyk stubbornly. Still, he must be thinking that his money-maker’s career could end in this fight.

Joshua and Usyk were supposed to battle earlier this year, but Oleksandr was back home fighting a war. He’s decided to return from the war to defend his three heavyweight titles against Joshua in the rematch.

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