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Joshua vs. Usyk II could be delayed one to two weeks says Eddie Hearn

Image: Joshua vs. Usyk II could be delayed one to two weeks says Eddie Hearn

By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn reported on Monday that there’s a possibility that the tentatively scheduled July 23rd rematch between IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksander Usyk and Anthony Joshua could potentially be delayed a week or two.

According to Hearn, the positive news is that a site deal for Saudi Arabia is close to being finalized. He says they’re ready to announce the fight soon.

Although it’s not sure that the Joshua-Usyk fight will be delayed again, it’s possible because it needs time to be promoted. Many boxing fans want to get the battle over because it’s been talked about for too long.

We have agreed to a deal for the site and the working date of July 23rd,” said Hearn to iFL TV on the Joshua vs. Usyk II rematch.

Joshua has a new trainer in Robert Garcia, and a delay in the rematch with Usyk will give him more time to learn the roughhouse tactics. That’s expected to be Joshua’s plan-A for the rematch.

It’s unclear what Joshua’s plan B will be if roughing up Usyk fails to work. If all else fails, expect Joshua to revert to the Wladimir Klitschko style that he used to defeat Andy Ruiz Jr. in their rematch in December 2019.

That style involves movement, jabbing, clinching & leaning. It’s an ugly style but effective.

A lot is riding on this fight because Joshua seriously can’t afford to absorb another loss without his career heading south in the Derek Chisora journeyman direction.

“We are pretty much ready to announce. Both sides have agreed to the deal; both sides have agreed to everything,” said Hearn.

“It’s just that it’s taken ten days longer than we wanted it to, and without putting a date on it, all I can tell you is we’re finalizing the final bit of paperwork, and everything is agreed, so stand by,” said Hearn.

When you’re talking about Joshua’s career hanging in the balance, it’s understandable why Hearn would be willing to delay the fight. Joshua hasn’t looked like the same fighter he once was since his loss to Ruiz.

In the two fights Joshua won in the last three years against Kubrat Pulev and Ruiz, he looked timid, afraid to throw shots for fear of getting nailed by shots. Again, it was the same thing in AJ’s loss to Usyk last September.

After getting nailed by a hard shot from Usyk in the second round, the 6’6″ Joshua looked gunshy from that point on and played it safe from the outside.

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