Anthony Joshua’s attempt to exact revenge against Oleksandr Usyk could come as soon as spring 2022.
“I think March is realistic, yeah March, around March,” Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn told IFL. “It’s a huge fight and there will be a lot of people wanting to stage it, but I would like to do it back in the UK.”
The six-month turnaround for the sequel would be the same timeline the 32--year-old Joshua needed for his rematch against Andy Ruiz in 2019 following his first career loss.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) dropped a spirited unanimous decision to Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) in September after being outslugged 148 to 123. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk also landed 96 power shots -- 25 more than the Brit -- to win the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles. Usyk was awarded scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 for his efforts.
Joshua has a contractual right to a rematch that has since been exercised, and that is the only fighter the pair of Olympics gold medalists will be focusing on moving forward.
“Team Usyk is very happy to take the rematch. They’re going to make a huge amount of money and they believe they’re going to win the fight. For AJ, there is no other fight. He’s seen comments from people,” said Hearn.
“‘Step aside this, step aside that. Absolutely not in a million years. He’s fit, and while he’s fit, strong and focused as he is, there’s only one fight [Usyk] that he has his mind on.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com