Eddie Hearn, promoter for Anthony Joshua, says the rematch with Oleksandr Usyk is very close to being finalized for July 23 in the Middle East.
Last September at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Usyk outboxed Joshua over twelve rounds to capture the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles.
Joshua would later exercise an immediate rematch clause.
Hearn indicates that the announcement should almost certainly come next week.
“I think there’s a very good chance you’ll see that fight July 23 in the Middle East. We have had a number of offers from around the world. We have been working through those and we’re closing in on that option. Team Usyk have stressed that that’s the option they would prefer because obviously it’s a lot of money," Hearn told IFL TV.
“Quite frankly I think Team Usyk would rather a neutral venue and I don’t blame them for that. So that’s where we’re at. Do we announce this week? Probably not. But do we announce next week? Almost certainly. You will see that fight, you will see that fight in July and you’ll get an official announcement soon.”
Hearn did not reveal the exact location in the Middle East, as there are several offers at play.
Joshua had previously fought in Diriyah in Saudi Arabia in 2019, when he reclaimed the heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz.
“You’ve mentioned Saudi, it’s not definitely taking place there. We’ve had a number of offers from the Middle East. UK – obviously for the rematch is where AJ would prefer that fight to take place. But it’s so far out on the numbers. The US is a more lucrative site. But again you have to understand this fight is a financial split between Usyk and AJ," Hearn said.
“We can’t just go to London because it’s a home advantage for AJ when you could be talking about two or three times more money to go elsewhere. Usyk doesn’t care if the fight’s in London. He’d prefer it probably not in the UK, but he would prefer to make the most money possible. AJ would like it in the UK but just wants the rematch. He’s boxed in the Middle East before, he’s obviously had a great win out there and if that’s where it’s gonna take place, no problem. So we’re finalizing that and July you will see that rematch.”