Anthony Joshua stands with IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts after beating Andy Ruiz JR and will fight to keep them in upcoming bout with Oleksandr Usyk
Joshua will put his four belts on the line against the unbeaten Ukranian, after the collapse of his eargerly-anticipated clash with Tyson Fury.
There had been great expectation surrounding a battle of the Brits between the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion, Joshua, and Gypsy King Fury, who holds the WBC belt. However, negotiations fell through when a judge ordered Fury to fulfill a prior contractual obligation with Deontay Wilder.
After the fruitless negotiations with Fury, the WBO ordered Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, to enter negotiations with former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk, who had successfully petitioned in 2019 to be installed as the WBO’s mandatory challenger.
When is the bout taking place?
The fight will go ahead on Saturday 25 September 2021. The main event ring walks will be earlier than normal and are set for 10pm.
Where is the fight happening?
Joshua will take on Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
How to watch the fight
The fight will be available to watch on Sky Sports Box office and on the Sky Sports Box Office app. Their pay-per-view coverage will start from 6pm and cost £24.95.
Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk records
Anthony Joshua has a record of 24 wins from 25 fights, having only lost as a professional once to Andy Ruiz Jr.
The 31-year-old, from Watford, stands at 6ft 6in tall and has claimed 22 knock-out wins. He has an orthodox stance and a reach of 82 inches.
Usyk is 6ft 3in and has claimed 18 straight wins as a professional, winning from knock-out 13 times. He has fought twice as a heavyweight, beating Chazz Witherspoon inside seven rounds on his top division debut before winning on points against Dereck Chisora in October.
Nicknamed ‘The Cat’, Usyk has a Southpaw stance and a reach of 78 inches. He was undisputed cruiserweight world champion and, like Joshua, won an Olympic gold medal in 2012 in London.
What are the odds?
Anthony Joshua Win: 4/11
Oleksandr Usyk: 9/4
Courtesy of Betfair Online Betting
What’s been said?
When asked if Usyk will be his most challenging opponent to date, Joshua said “100% he will be. Movement means you are never stationary to get hit. Movement is important.”
“I’ve been training like a 15-round fighter in this camp. I will be well-conditioned to fight. That is key.”
Tony Bellew, who lost to Usyk in 2018, said “Everyone keeps going on, yes he is a cruiserweight, but he is the greatest cruiserweight who has ever put on gloves”.
He has also stated that Usyk will be the most natural boxer Anthony Joshua has ever faced.
However, the weight divisions exist in boxing for a reason and Bellew believes that this will therefore give AJ the edge.
“Come round seven, eight and nine, he is going to find out why he (Usyk) is not a true heavyweight. I think Anthony Joshua’s speed, power and perseverance will be what catches up with Oleksandr Usyk.”