September 25 date confirmed for Joshua vs Usyk heavyweight title fight

WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO title-holder Joshua had looked set to contest the first of two all-British undisputed mega-fights against rival and WBC champion Tyson Fury in Saudi Araba in August, only for that bout to be scuppered after an arbitration hearing ruled that the latter must face Deontay Wilder for the third time.

With Fury vs Wilder III taking place in Las Vegas on July 24, Joshua will instead now face Usyk, who has been the mandatory challenger for the WBO belt since June 2019.

Hearn has now confirmed that fight will take place on September 25 at an as of yet undecided location, though Standard Sport previously reported that the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was the front runner for the bout after missing out on the chance to host Joshua’s previous defence against Kubrat Pulev, with hopes for a full capacity crowd of more than 62,000.

The Pulev contest was delayed by six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic and eventually took place at The SSE Arena, Wembley in December, with Joshua successfully retaining his titles via a ninth-round knockout to move to 24-1 as a professional.

“Joshua v Usyk announcement, don’t want to say two weeks as you guys are bored of me saying that,” Hearn said during an Instagram live appearance on Friday night.

“September 25 is the date.”

Ukrainian Usyk previously reigned as the very first undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world and made the move up to heavyweight in 2019, beating Chazz Witherspoon in Chicago before outpointing Briton Derek Chisora in London last October.

Like Joshua, the 34-year-old won Olympic gold at London 2012 and also claimed world and European titles during an accomplished amateur career.

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