Heavyweight return, for four of five world titles, eyed for next spring
Anthony Joshua is once again ready for a heavyweight rematch.
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist has officially exercised the rematch clause in his contract with Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua, the former two-time unified champion, succumbed his WBA Super, WBO, IBF and IBO titles to the Ukrainian last month at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
And despite losing on all three scorecards, the 31-year-old who has also held the British and Commonwealth titles in what has already been a glittering campaign in the paid code, set up a second fight with his recent conqueror.
“Today we have officially triggered the rematch [clause] for the Oleksandr Usyk fight which we will see early next spring,” Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s career-long promoter, confirmed. “Back in the game and looking for him to become a three-time heavyweight world champion.”
Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, moved up to heavyweight and secured wins over Chazz Witherspoon and Britain’s Derek Chisora before comprehensively beating Joshua (24-2, 22KOs), who has already taken part in a rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. after being stopped by the Mexican-American at Madison Square Garden in New York in June 2019 before soundly outboxing him in their return six months later in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
“This was a disappointing loss to a pound-for-pound great,” Hearn added, regarding Joshua’s defeat at the hands of Usyk. “He got it wrong on the night, the strategy was wrong, the execution of the game plan was wrong. But you can’t take away from the brilliance of Oleksandr Usyk.”
Details regarding the rematch between Usyk and Joshua, which has already been mooted to take place in February or March next year, will be revealed in due course.