Oleksander Usyk wants to stage his rematch with Anthony Joshua in Kyiv, Ukraine, next in February. As the new IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) wants the second fight with Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) to take place in his home country after he dethroned AJ in his backyard in London, England last weekend.
It’s fair to say that Usyk has Joshua’s number, which is why AJ must stay far away from Ukraine for the rematch.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn was asked about fighting Usyk in Ukraine next February, and he said it was a bad idea to fight there in that month.
Hearn wants the rematch to take place in England in early next year in February or March. Obviously, with Joshua’s career being on the line for the second fight with Usyk, it’s understandable why Hearn doesn’t want it to take place in Ukraine.
Joshua is going to need every advantage he can get for him to beat Usyk in the rematch. We’ve already seen in the past that Joshua doesn’t fight well when competing in front of hostile crowds when Andy Ruiz Jr knocked him out in New York in 2019.
With Usyk being motivated by his fans at the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv, Joshua may not have much chance to win the fight. Joshua isn’t one of those fighters that can shut out the crowd noise. Without the cheering from the fans, Joshua isn’t the same guy.
“The rematch was specified in the contract,” said Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk. “It has already been activated in principle, from the side of Joshua.
“So I remember when we discussed with Oleksandr the issue of the rematch, he was delighted and said, ‘Wow, cool, I will beat Antokha (Anthony) twice.'”
There’s no reason why Usyk wouldn’t want a second chance to fight Joshua because the money will be good, and he already proved that he could beat him.
“How does Hearn know that in February at Olympic stadium it is bad to box?” said Usyk in reacting to Hearn saying that fighting in Kyiv in February is a bad idea.
“Has he ever fought in February at the Olympic?”
Hearn is just looking out for his own guy Joshua by shooting down the idea of fighting Usyk in Ukraine. Joshua is a big-money guy, and it would be terrible for him to lose the rematch with Usyk.
Hearn obviously remembers how spaced out Joshua looked when he fought Ruiz in New York in June 2019, and that was in front of a relatively quiet crowd.
It would have been a different story if the first Joshua vs. Ruiz fight were staged in Los Angeles, Texas, or Arizona. The crowd would have been almost 99% Ruiz fans and very, very supportive of him.
“You didn’t see the best Usyk. I can be much better,” said Usyk.