With the dream of a Joshua-Fury megafight all but abandoned due to legal conflicts, it would appear now that Britain’s WBO/WBA/IBF heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua will defend against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium sometime in September, according to at least two newspaper reports posted in the U.K. today.
After Ring Magazine champion and WBC titleholder Tyson Fury was hit by a court mandate to comply with his contractual rematch against Deontay Wilder, the WBO issued a mandate for Joshua to accept Usyk’s mandatory challenge, and apparently the talks are headed in the right direction.
Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk had cleared the path towards this fight with a comment last week, indicating that “we are waiting for King AJ’s decision whether he is brave enough to get dethroned.”
He and his charge could get their wish, as the fight appears to be headed to the heart of Joshua’s kingdom. Both sources name Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (home of the soccer team, with a 62,000-seat capacity) as the likely stage for this fight between Joshua and the unbeaten Usyk (18-0, 13 knockouts), the former undisputed cruiserweight champion with only two fights under his belt at heavyweight (a stoppage of Chazz Witherspoon and a decision win over Derek Chisora).
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is coming off a one-sided win over Kubrat Pulev in December 2020. He is 2-1 in his last three outings, having avenged his only loss to Andy Ruiz in December 2019 in Saudi Arabia after losing all his belts and his unbeaten record to him in New York back in June of that same year.
Originally, the Joshua-Fury dream match (potentially one of the richest bouts to be made in boxing today) was headed to Saudi Arabia on August 14th 2021 until it was derailed by Wilder’s legal maneuver.
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