LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Oleksandr Usyk celebrates after being crowned the new World Champion following the Heavyweight Title Fight between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Boxing

Usyk V Joshua Heavyweight Rematch Confirmed For Late August

Finally, after a seeming age of deliberation, the Heavyweight world title rematch between the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO World Champion Oleksandr Usyk and the challenger and former holder of those belts, Anthony Joshua, has been confirmed.

The bout will take place slightly later than many expected, with a 20th August deadline set for the fight, which will take place at the Super Dome in Jedda, Saudi Arabia.

The indoor venue is the only viable choice with temperatures in Jeddah in August averaging out at around 102°F and sometimes hitting 110°F.

The venue is the second time that Joshua will fight a rematch in Saudi Arabia after losing his titles, after he did so successfully when defeating David Ruiz Jr. in December 2019.

DraftKings Sportsbook have Ukrainian champion Oleksandr Usyk as their strong -215 favorite to retain the belts he won against Joshua back in September 2021 in London, with the challenger in the somewhat unusual position of being the +175 underdog in the fight.

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Venue Blow For Joshua?

Despite already having won one rematch in Saudi Arabia, the decision to host the fight there

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 25: Oleksandr Usyk punches as Anthony Joshua ducks during the Heavyweight Title Fight between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

is being seen as a blow for Joshua’s camp, after his promoter Eddie Hearn revealed a while back that Joshua wanted to host the fight in London once again.

However, Usyk’s camp are believed to have wanted to maximise the amount of money that they could generate for the fight and as the Champion, it is believed Usyk’s camp preferred Saudi Arabia as the venue for that reason.

“We would like it in England because it’s a must-win for AJ and it’s always an advantage to have that home advantage,” stated Hearn back in April this year.

“But one of the issues is it’s a financial split and obviously, Team Usyk is going to want as much money as they can get for that fight. Understandable.”

“So we have to look at the other options and there is a lot more money to do the fight elsewhere,” Hearn stated.

Training Camps For The Duo

Earlier this year, the Champion returned to his Ukrainian homeland to fight alongside his

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 15: Antonio Mireles (L) Robert Garcia (R) pose after the victory over Demonte Randle at Pechanga Arena on October 15, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

compatriots against the Russian invaders in the country.

However, a month or so later, Usyk was granted dispensation to leave his country to train for the rematch, believing that another high-profile win would offer Ukrainians hope and ensure that their battle for their homeland remains widely supported and on the front pages all over the world.

The Champion is believed to be training in Poland for the rematch with his team.

Anthony Joshua has been working hard since his defeat for this opportunity and has made a number of changes to his training team for this fight.

Out has gone long-time trainer Robert McCracken and instead, Robert Garcia has been appointed to guide and strategize for the British former title holder alongside one of the small number of team members retained from past fights, Angel Fernandez.

Undisputed Heavyweight Title Decider?

It seems that Usyk was almost persuaded to take a unifying fight with Tyson Fury ahead of

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 23: Tyson Fury celebrates victory after the WBC World Heavyweight Title Fight between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

the rematch with Joshua, but the British fighter could not agree a deal to step aside and fight in the interim, with a guarantee to take on the winner of the Fury v Usyk bout.

Shortly thereafter, the details of the rematch in Jeddah were confirmed in the media.

It now seems likely that the winner of the rematch will then go on to face a unification bout with Tyson Fury in what could be the biggest fight in heavyweight history in terms of purse value.

Fury claimed it would take “half a bill ” dollars to persuade him out of retirement.

With the trilogy bout between Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez coming up just a month later, it promises to be a hugely exciting summer for fight fans!

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