Promoter Eddie Hearn states negotiations will begin between IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua in late October for a rematch in March or April 2022.
Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) beat Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) on September 25th last month to capture his three titles to become a two-division world champion.
Hearn appears to some boxing fans to have taken the loss harder than Joshua, has been worked up emotionally ever since the defeat.
Joshua is Matchroom Sport’s flagship fighter in their stable, and it’s not a good thing for him to be losing so soon after his upset defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. two years ago in 2019.
Hearn is transparent about where he would like the Joshua-Usyk rematch to occur, saying he wants it in the UK. He upset Usyk by saying that staging the rematch in Ukraine in February would be a bad idea.
Joshua vs. Usyk negotiations update
“I’ve got a meeting scheduled to take place with Alex Krassyuk end of October once everything’s settled down,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN on when negotiations will begin for the Joshua vs. Usyk II rematch.
“I think March or April is likely,” Hearn said about when the Joshua – Usyk 2 rematch will occur.
“Usyk had a terrible cut; I’m sure they’ll probably get a holiday in as well. So they’re probably not going to do too much until December, and then and then we’ll start planning,” said Hearn.
As long as Hearn knows what he’s getting Joshua into by staging the rematch with the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk right away, it should be okay.
If Hearn is guessing wrong by putting Joshua back in with Usyk, it could hurt his career. Losing yet again would mean Joshua will have lost 3 out of his last five fights.
Generally, when an elite fighter loses that many times in a short period, it’s a signal that they’re about done.
That’s why it would probably be a good idea for Joshua and Hearn to listen to the wise owl Bob Arum and NOT fight Usyk. Arum wants Tyson Fury to fight Usyk, and then Joshua faces Tyson afterward.
“I think AJ will definitely fight Fury, Wilder, [Dillian] Whyte, and Usyk because he’s consistently fought the top guys, and he will continue to do so,” said Hearn. “But I think in his mind the only thing he’s really thinking about is Usyk.”
It’s understandable why Joshua is focused on the Usyk fight because if he’s going to take the rematch, he’ll need to be totally focused.
Haye says Joshua used amateur style
“Anthony Joshua and Usyk was a big shock the other night,” said David Haye to Boxing Social. “There are three titles in Ukraine. He [Joshua] needs to be a little more physical [in the rematch with Oleksandr].
“I’ve been thinking about it the last few days, and what he [Joshua] tried to do was really brave. He tried to outbox someone who everyone believed and was right is a significantly better boxer than him.
“So instead of doing what he could do in getting up close and doing some of what Derek Chisora did, winning the rounds, bullying, pushing, and leaning on him.
“Doing what Lennox Lewis did with smaller guys David Tua and Tommy Morrison. What Klitschko did to me, leaning on me, pushing on me using his weight. He’s got a three-stone weight advantage, lean on. You be the big man.
“He [Joshua] took away all his advantages and ‘I’m going to go skill for skill with you’ and he lost, and he didn’t lose every round.
“And he hurt [Usyk] a couple of times, but he just got outmaneuvered by a better long-range boxer.
“This guy has only done this type of boxing. It feels as though he [Joshua] was trying to do too much like the amateur technical.
“Things get rough and get really, really. You need to change the sport like that to amateur boxing. That was more of amateur boxing. It was like watching the Olympic finals.
“That was the skillset. Everything was clean. No head clashing, no elbows, no leaning, no pushing, no rabbit punches. It was CLEAN as an Olympic final, and that’s not how you beat someone like that.
“Derek Chisora, I thought, did enough to beat Usyk, and there was no long-range boxing involved at all other than a few southpaw bits, but he won the exchanges, though.
“Anyway, he [Joshua] knows what he needs to do. He’s got a great team, he’s super smart, and he’ll figure it out,” said Haye.
There were times in the fight last September where Joshua could have unloaded on Usyk when they were in close, but he didn’t do it.
You can argue that Joshua had too much respect for Usyk and didn’t want to unload on him with vicious uppercuts as he’d done against Kubrat Pulev and Wladimir Klitschko.
Had Joshua done that, Usyk probably would have folded early. Joshua showed too much respect for Usyk, and it cost him the fight.