Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua II set for Aug. 20 in Saudi Arabia
The rematch between three-belt heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua rematch is set.
They will meet on Aug. 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, it was announced Sunday.
Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) stunned Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) and the boxing world by outpointing the Englishman to win the IBF, WBA and WBO titles last September in London. Tyson Fury holds the WBC belt.
The career of Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, had been on hold because of the war in his native Ukraine.
“I have a goal,” Usyk said, according to a news release. “With the help of the Lord I will complete my mission.”
Joshua lost the three titles by a seventh-round knockout against Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019 only to regain them six months later by easily outpointing Ruiz. He then stopped Kubrat Pulev in nine rounds, which set up the fight with Usyk.
Usyk was an underdog but outclassed his bigger opponent with his elite skill set.
Joshua, now working with trainer Robert Garcia, will be in a familiar position when he steps into the ring: All of his fights since 2016 have had major titles at stake. He’s attempting to become a three time champion.
“What a roller coaster journey, fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world for the 12th consecutive time,” Joshua said. “I won the belt, unified the division, won another belt, lost the belts, became two-time unified heavyweight champion and now have my date with history set to become three-time unified heavyweight champion of the world. What an opportunity.
“Fighting championship level back to back has had its pros and cons, but I decide every day to get stronger, to learn from my experiences and grow. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and I am the happiest and most motivated I have been.”
Oleksandr Usyk outboxes Anthony Joshua to become heavyweight champ