Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk v Anthony Joshua II: British challenger confident of win in rematch

Joshua came face-to-face with Usyk for the first time since losing his WBA (Super), IBF, and WBO titles in London in September.

At a media conference, Joshua was full of confidence as he aims to become a three-time world champion.

"If you know my story, you know I'm the comeback king," Joshua, 31, said.

"You can put me down, but it's difficult to keep me down."

Oleksandr Usyk v Anthony Joshua rematch likely to occur in August

Ukrainian Usyk beat Joshua on points last year to claim the WBO, IBF and WBA (Super) titles.

A date of 23 July was pencilled in for the rematch but Usyk's promoter Oleksandr Krasyuk said they have been told to prepare for the later date.

Saudi Arabia is expected to host the rematch despite concerns about the country's human rights record.

Joshua, 32, has fought in Saudi Arabia once before when he beat Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch in 2019.

It is the second time the highly anticipated rematch between Usyk and Joshua has been delayed.

Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk now targeted for May

Tyson Fury had offered Joshua a large offer so he could fight WBA (Super), IBF and WBO champion Usyk instead.

But those talks collapsed and speaking to the 5 Live Boxing podcast, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said: "It's clear AJ will be fighting Usyk, which is his preferred choice."

"May is when you'll see that fight."

Joshua, who lost his title belts to Usyk in September, had planned for the fight to take place in April, but the search for a new trainer and prolonged talks with WBC champion Fury forced a delay.

Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk rematch could be in UK

Briton Joshua lost his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts when Usyk won by unanimous decision in September.

"We have three options: the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the Middle East," Krassyuk told Sky Sports.

"We plan to meet with Eddie Hearn within the next couple of weeks to initiate the rematch activities."

He added: "Hopefully by the end of 2021, we will be in the position to take the final decision."

Usyk upsets Joshua to claim world heavyweight titles

The 34-year-old former undisputed cruiserweight world champion put on a masterclass to silence the majority of the 67,000 fans inside the huge arena on Sunday (NZ time).

Usyk proved too elusive for Joshua throughout an enthralling contest and finished with a flurry in round 12 as he went in search of a knockout.

Joshua stayed up but the decision was a formality as Usyk claimed the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts.

     

Joshua bullish ahead of Usyk fight

The WBA (Super), WBO and IBF champion defends his titles on Saturday against former cruiserweight champion Usyk.

A cordial press conference today gave way to an intense face-off before a handshake between the pair.

Joshua, 31, said: "I'm not an easy fight for anyone, I like fighting."

He added: "If you tell me I was fighting King Kong I would give it a go. This is my job.

"I wasn't on the amateur scene long enough to know much about Oleksandr, but when I turned professional I did a lot of research and I love the Ukrainian style and the Ukrainian people.

Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk confirmed for Tottenham on 25 September

Joshua, 31, will risk his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against the Ukrainian, who is his mandatory challenger.

Usyk, 34, has not fought for a title as a heavyweight but held all four belts a division lower at cruiserweight.

Joshua was ordered to defend his WBO title after the collapse of his bout with fellow Briton Tyson Fury.

"We are two Olympic gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges," Joshua said.

Joshua or Fury Both, says Usyk

Fury completed a stunning seven-round demolition of knockout specialist Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas last month to collect the WBC title, while countryman Joshua holds the other three major heavyweight belts after avenging his defeat to Andy Ruiz with a comprehensive points win last December.

Usyk, who is like Fury undefeated and has a London 2012 gold medal in common with Joshua, cleaned out the cruiserweight division and has similar designs having stepped up to take on boxing's big men.