The very top of boxing’s heavyweight division is red-hot right now, having just come off of Tyson Fury’s epic KO win over Deontay Wilder, which itself was two weeks after Oleksandr Usyk upset Anthony Joshua to become a unified champion.
We don’t know what’s next for Fury just yet, but we do know that Usyk and Joshua will run it back. As expected, Joshua has enacted his rematch clause following his unanimous decision.
Early spring 2022 is the target for the rematch according to Hearn, who’s Joshua’s longtime promoter.
The last time Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) tasted defeat was a shocking seventh-round TKO vs. Andy Ruiz. He also exercised a rematch clause and was able to defeat Ruiz to get his titles back. Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) was Joshua’s mandatory challenger via the WBO and now finds himself with the WBO, WBA, and IBF titles. The Ukrainian moved up from cruiserweight after achieving undisputed champion status in 2018.
A location hasn’t been revealed for Usyk vs. Joshua 2 but it has been common for Usyk to compete in his opponent’s home country. The first fight was in front of over 60,000 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, but there were plenty of Ukrainian supporters there. Usyk’s last cruiserweight fight against Tony Bellew was also in the United Kingdom.
It wasn’t but a few years ago that Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder was the fight to make for undisputed heavyweight supremacy. Now it’s quite clearly Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk. How quickly things can change.