Anthony Joshua exercises right to rematch Oleksandr Usyk for heavyweight championship

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6:13 PM ET

  • Mike CoppingerESPN

Anthony Joshua exercised his contractual correct to an fast rematch with Oleksandr Usyk for the unified heavyweight championship, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, declared on Saturday.

Hearn claimed he programs to phase Usyk-Joshua 2 in early spring.

“Again in the sport and wanting for him to grow to be a three-time environment winner,” Hearn mentioned.

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Joshua, 31, had 30 times from previous month’s upset defeat to Usyk to notify the other side, in producing, that he was exercising the rematch clause. Neither boxer can stage an interim fight before the rematch.

The battle of Olympic gold medalists from the 2012 Online games wasn’t all that aggressive irrespective of Joshua’s gain in size and heavyweight expertise. Usyk (19-, 13 KOs) was boxing as a heavyweight for just the 3rd time but neutralized Joshua’s edge in size and strength with excellent quickness, boxing smarts and footwork.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion appeared on the verge of stopping Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) in the closing seconds of a bout that showcased no knockdowns, while Joshua was surprised on a number of instances.

Joshua, a U.K. star, emerged from the bout with a poorly damaged ideal eye and sat on his stool for minutes after the struggle concluded. The unanimous-choice loss was the next of Joshua’s vocation. His other defeat was a surprising seventh-round TKO decline to Andy Ruiz Jr.

That bout also contained a rematch clause and Joshua created superior use of it by exacting revenge through conclusion six months later on in Saudi Arabia.

Usyk, a 34-12 months-aged Ukrainian, is ESPN’s No. 2 heavyweight and No. 9 pound-for-pound boxer. Joshua is ESPN’s No. 4 heavyweight.

Usyk’s great victory spoiled programs for a Tyson Fury-Joshua super battle in the initially 50 percent of 2022. Fury and Joshua hoped to meet Aug. 14 in Saudi Arabia ahead of an unbiased arbitrator dominated that Fury owed Wilder a 3rd combat. They satisfy Saturday for the WBC heavyweight championship (9 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV).

The WBC ruled that if the winner of Saturday’s bout will not unify with Usyk subsequent, that the victor will be ordered to battle Dillian Whyte, the extensive-standing WBC No. 1 contender. If Whyte can upend Otto Wallin on Oct. 30 in London, he could be in line to battle Fury or Wilder in the to start with fifty percent of 2022.