ANTHONY JOSHUA and Oleksandr Usyk's on-off re-match has been put back again – but promoters are honing in on a confirmed date.
Usyk was given the green light from Ukraine's sports minister to have his second fight against AJ, following Russia's invasion of his home country.
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The fight had been plunged into doubt with Usyk joining the military in the defence of his home country.
All parties understood the situation – there are, after all, bigger things in the world than boxing.
Just like the Olympic gold medallist did after his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, Joshua wants to right his wrong by facing the Ukrainian in a rematch.
Usyk outpointed and largely outclassed a game Joshua in front of 70,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year to win the WBA, WBO, IBF & IBO world titles.
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn admitted after that his client boxed nowhere near to the ability he would do in a potential rematch.
AJ, meanwhile, said the fight was a learning experience in the post-fight news conference, vowing to gain his vengeance on Usyk.
Since then, the two sides have been negotiating toward a huge money-spinning sequel, with a venue in the final stages of being decided.
It's expected that the fight will take place in Saudi Arabia, with announcement expected soon.
Joshua will also have Angel Fernandez as the man in charge of his corner, having used the Spaniard as an assistant to Rob McCracken since the second Ruiz Jr fight.
When is Joshua vs Usyk 2?
- Joshua vs Usyk 2 has yet to be confirmed with a concrete date – although it is understood to be in July.
- According to reports, the new date is set to be July 23 – but this is unconfirmed.
- But Russia's invasion of the Ukraine had thrown the entire bout into doubt with Usyk involved in the war effort, but he has told ministers he wants to get into a training camp for the bout.
- That would also open up the opportunity for Joshua vs Usyk 2 to take place in an outdoor stadium in the UK.
What channel is it and can it be live streamed?
- Joshua's last fight with Usyk with shown live on Sky Sports Box Office for a price of £24.95.
- It's unclear which channel the rematch will take place on, but expect Matchroom's broadcast partners DAZN to bid aggressively for the rights to the fight in the UK.
- DAZN costs £7.99 to subscribe to in the UK, but the streaming service are likely to add a pay-per-view arm to their model this year.
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Where will Joshua vs Usyk 2 take place?
Hearn has previously claimed that he could see the fight happening in another open-air UK stadium.
He said after the fight: “It's very likely to happen in the UK, but we’ll sit down and look at the options.
“There will be approaches to do it elsewhere. (But) after Saturday, the pluses and minuses of Saturday, I mean, have you ever seen anything like that? How good was it? Have you ever seen anything like that?
“So I’d like to do it in England again. Maybe at Spurs, maybe at Wembley, maybe at the Emirates. They’ll be approaches to do it elsewhere but I don’t see any reason to take it outside of England.”
But Hearn, Joshua and Usyk have since been approached by the Middle East for that fight.
And Hearn now believes it's likely that the fight will take place over there.
Hearn told iFL TV: "I think there's a very good chance you'll see that fight July 23rd in the Middle East. We're closing in on that option."
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