AJ to fight Usyk in September

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua will fight Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

Joshua was preparing for a title unification bout against Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia on August 14 but Fury was then ordered to face Deontay Wilder for a third time.

That left Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn scrambling for an opponent for Joshua with mandatory challenger Usyk the obvious option.

The Ukrainian is 18-0, and was considered one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world when he fought at cruiserweight, beating the likes of Tony Bellew and Mairis Briedis.

He moved up to heavyweight at the end of 2019 defeating Chazz Witherspoon before cementing his position as WBO mandatory challenger with a win over Derek Chisora last Halloween.

A deal was close to being reached for Usyk to fight Joe Joyce for an interim title while Fury and Joshua completed their two-fight deal – but Usyk will instead face Joshua at the home of Spurs, reports Sky Sports News.

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Joshua last fought in December when he stopped Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round after a dominant performance, having taken a year out after retaining his titles against Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia.

He had planned to fight last summer, but coronavirus restrictions delayed the fight by six months.

Usyk and Joshua both won gold at the London Olympics in 2012, with the Ukrainian winning at heavyweight while Joshua took the super-heavyweight honours.

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