Joshua’s second title reign was ended a fortnight ago as former undisputed cruiserweight champion and master technician Usyk produced a stunning display to claim the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts with a comfortable points win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
It was quickly confirmed after his second career defeat that Joshua had an option for an immediate rematch and fully intended to use it, with promoter Eddie Hearn suggesting that February or March 2022 was the most likely date, with the UK seen as the likeliest location again to host the fight despite Ukrainian Usyk wanting to fight at home in Kiev.
That clause has now been officially triggered as Joshua looks to become a three-time world heavyweight champion.
“He’s got his head back in the game, he’s training now and today we officially triggered the rematch for the Oleksandr Usyk fight which we’ll see early next spring,” Hearn said on DAZN during the Liam Smith-Anthony Fowler card in Liverpool.
“Back in the game and looking for him to become a three-time heavyweight world champion.
“That’s officially triggered now and we’ll sit down with K2 [Usyk’s promoters] to plan the dates for that.
“I think realistically March is when you’re likely to see the rematch.”