Anthony Joshua opts for rematch against Oleksandr Usyk
Anthony Joshua will face Oleksandr Uysk for a chance at redemption.
According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, Joshua has exercised his contractual right to a rematch with Usyk, giving him a chance to reclaim the unified heavyweight title.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, is hoping that the bout will take place in early spring 2022, according to Coppinger.
According to Coppinger, Hearn remarked, “Back in the game and hoping for him to become a three-time world champion.”
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) has had to utilize a rematch clause for the second time in his career. He demanded a rematch after his first career loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019, he faced Ruiz in December 2019. He reclaimed the unified heavyweight title by unanimous decision at that time.
Because Joshua used the rematch clause, neither he nor Usyk can fight again until the rematch is completed.
According to Reuters and ESPN, Usyk said after the fight that he expected a rematch with Joshua and that he would then seek to face the winner of Saturday’s WBC title battle between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. However, with Usyk-Joshua 2 on the horizon, the winner of Fury-Wilder will be forced to defend his title against interim WBC champion Dillian Whyte if Whyte defeats Otto Wallin on Oct. 30.
Joshua’s ambitions to fight Fury for the undisputed title were put on hold after his fight with Usyk in September. Last May, it appeared that Joshua would face Fury on Aug. 14, but an arbitrator ruled that Fury must face Wilder, who had exercised his option for a third fight against Fury, just after Fury revealed his plans for that fight.
Fury accepted the rematch, postponing his fight with Joshua. Following the postponement of Fury-Joshua, Joshua was obliged to face Usyk, the WBO’s top contender, who had moved up after becoming the undisputed cruiserweight title.