Oleksandr Usyk leaves Ukraine, Joshua Rematch Expected In The Summer

While former champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, a good friend of Oleksandr Usyk, opted to stay in Ukraine and pass on a summer fight with lightweight ruler George Kambosos Jr, it has been reported how Usyk HAS left the country to begin training for his contractually agreed rematch with Anthony Joshua. Reports have confirmed how Usyk, given permission by the Ministry of Defence, has left to train at a gym in Oxnard, near Los Angeles to get ready for the return fight with the man he defeated to take the WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight titles last September.

There was talk of Joshua having an interim fight as he waited for Usyk to be ready, perhaps not until the end of the year, but now Usyk-Joshua II can be hyped up and promoted. It’s not clear why Usyk took a different approach to Lomachenko, yet no-one can hold the decision he made against Usyk – his career was on the line of course; and what if Joshua did take an interim fight and lost? This is something Usyk has no doubt thought about.

Joshua will of course be pleased at this news, the chance for revenge having been the uppermost thing in his mind since September of last year. We must now await confirmation of a date and a venue, but June seems to be the month the rematch will take place in, and the fight will very possibly be staged in the UK once again.

A must-win fight for both men, Joshua especially as he cannot afford a second loss to Usyk and a third defeat in total, both men will have everything to fight for. In theory, if Usyk lost the rematch, he could get a third and deciding fight but of course Usyk will be in no mood to lose the return. Usyk-Joshua II is a fascinating fight and, while there are clearly more important things than sport, it is good for we fight fans that the sequel is on.

Will Usyk be in the best state of mind to train and fully focus on the fight, however? With the atrocities continuing in his home country, Usyk would have every right to be distracted. Still, the WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight ruler has made his decision and we should all support Usyk.