Anthony Joshua will get his shot at becoming a three-time heavyweight world champion this summer when he is finally set to rematch Oleksandr Usyk. The unified champion’s promoter Alex Krassyuk has now confirmed to Express Sport that a date and venue is due to be finalised in the coming days after Usyk left Ukraine to begin his training camp.
The showpiece has been up in the air for several weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plunged the contest into major doubt.
Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn was reluctant to pressure Usyk into moving ahead with the rematch after he bravely joined the war effort in late February by enlisting with the Kyiv Territorial Defence.
Usyk, who cruised to a unanimous points victory on the scorecards at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, was understandably keen to prioritise protecting his country over a return to the ring following the crisis in Ukraine.
His close friend Vasiliy Lomachenko recently turned down the chance to leave Ukraine for a shot at the undisputed lightweight world titles against George Kambosos Jr in Australia.
However, as a father of three, Usyk is free to leave his home country for the rematch – an opportunity that he has now taken.
Krassyuk of K2 Promotions has now confirmed to Express Sport that Usyk’s camp is underway but not in Poland, as previously reported.
He plans to sit down with Eddie Hearn in the coming days to discuss a venue and date for the rematch, which is expected to land in June or July.
The challenger Joshua took to his social media channels with a cryptic post on Wednesday as he donned a t-shirt that read: ‘Polska’ – with the image captioned: ‘Let’s roll.’
Shortly after, media reports claimed Usyk had travelled to Poland for his training camp but Krassyuk denies those claims and when pushed for an answer on the location of camp, said: “Somewhere on Planet Earth.”
AJ is desperate for revenge after Usyk inflicted the second defeat of his career in front of a sell-out crowd in London.
It was a bitterly disappointing night for Joshua, who failed to get going after attempting to switch up his style by outboxing one of the slickest southpaws on the planet.
An interim fight has been mooted amid tensions in Ukraine with Joe Joyce and Otto Wallin among those to fall under consideration.
Joyce’s promoter Frank Warren is said to have made an offer to Matchroom Boxing, who failed to reply.
Instead, all focus has been on securing their poster boy arguably the biggest fight of his career as he looks to reclaim his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight world titles.
Joshua recently confirmed that preparations for his next outing were underway with Angel Fernandez.
Fernandez, who looks set to replace Rob McCracken, was brought into Joshua’s corner for the rematch against Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia.
While an all-British undisputed clash is now nothing but a distant memory, the stars could still align if Joshua prevails against Usyk in the rematch.
Tyson Fury will defend his WBC and Ring Magazine heavyweight world title against Dillian Whyte at Wembley on April 23.