THE date is chiselled in stone now – Anthony Joshua’s re-match against Oleksandr Usyk is ON and the venue is ready.
Joshua and his Ukrainian counterpart had been due to do battle in May, and then July, but there were various hold-ups in negotiations which pushed the fight further back.
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Russia’s war on Ukraine, where Usyk is from, also had an impact on the rematch with Joshua being made.
Usyk, 35, returned to his home country earlier this tear to join the fight against Russia, which began in February.
But he’s now in training camp for the biggest fight of his life, but one that he knows he can win.
Usyk outpointed and largely outclassed a game Joshua in front of 70,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to win the WBA, WBO, IBF & IBO world titles.
Just like the Olympic gold medallist did after his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, Joshua wants to right his wrong by facing the Ukrainian in a rematch.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn told The Sun earlier this month that his client is ‘baffled’ by the tactics used last year, and hinted at a change of gameplan for the rematch.
He said: “I was talking to him the other night and I think finally it’s baffled him why he fought like that.
“For a long time, he still felt even when he lost that he could still beat Usyk like that. But why when you don’t need to fight like that?
“He could fight in your old style and have a much better chance of beating him. Klitschko-style but Usyk is a tremendous fighter, a great counterpuncher.”
Hearn added that AJ “needs to be a lot more aggressive” this time.
The two sides spent months negotiating a money-spinning deal for AJ’s second fight in Saudi Arabia, having beaten Ruiz Jr on points in the oil-rich country in December 2019.
Joshua will also have a new training team, with the experienced Robert Garcia leading his corner while Angel Fernandez plays second-in-command.
When is Joshua vs Usyk 2?
- Joshua vs Usyk 2 will take place on Saturday, August 20.
- The fight is going to be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
- Joshua last fought in Saudi Arabia in December 2019, with the fight beginning at 9pm UK time.
🥊 AJ vs Usyk 2 date, live stream and TV channel for blockbuster rematch
What channel is it and can it be live streamed?
- Joshua vs Usyk 2 will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
- Sky Sports won the bidding war for the rights to show the event – with the UK rights for the fight not part of AJ’s DAZN deal.
- DAZN will be showing the fight in the rest of the world.
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Joshua vs Usyk 2 FULL CARD
The Joshua vs Usyk 2 undercard has yet to be announced.
It’s expected the Callum Smith will compete in Jeddah, however, just as he did on the first Joshua vs Usyk undercard.
Keep up to date on SunSport for updates.
Where will Joshua vs Usyk 2 take place?
The venue for Joshua vs Uysk 2 has yet to be announced, but it’s expected the fight will be held at the Jeddah Super Dome.
The 40,000-seater stadium is the largest geodesic dome in the world to stand without pillars, and hosted the WWE Elimination Chamber in February.
Saudi Arabia has been a controversial host country, with the oil-rich nation accused of sportswashing after spending huge sums luring some of the world’s best golfers to their new LIV series.
Hearn, however, has dismissed any such comparison. He said: “He is not worried about any backlash because he has done it before.
“He will ultimately go, ‘Eddie over to you’. I am not going to pass the buck but it is very different when the deal is a 50/50 split. How can we go back to Usyk and say, ‘Let’s do it at Spurs’ because they will just say it is a non-starter.”
What has been said?
Both Joshua and Usyk met face-to-face for the first time since their clash last year at the press conference in Saudi Arabia.
“The fight with Usyk, he bust my a** for some rounds,” Joshua quipped.
“And I have to take that defeat like a man as well, I have to be accountable.
“In the fight in September, I was wrong and he was right. Simply I have to reverse that role in August.
“I don’t like to overcomplicate the situation, because there’s simplicity in genius. I’m just gonna keep things simple.”
Usyk added: “As you all know, we are not in the best conditions at the moment back home.
“I never made some very loud and bright speeches, all I did was just work hard in my training camp, my gym, that’s what I’m gonna do until the date of the fight.
“Then I will enter the ring and I will make you happy with my boxing.”
Who is Robert Garcia?
Robert Garcia is Joshua’s new trainer, with AJ splitting from long-time coach Rob McCracken following his loss to Usyk last September.
McCracken had led Joshua to Olympic gold at London 2012, his first world title in 2016, and the regaining of his belts in 2019.
But the tactics Joshua used in the defeat to Usyk were widely panned, so the Watford man went out in search of a new voice in the corner.
In steps Garcia, who has guided 14 different men to world titles throughout his legendary career as a trainer.
Fighters he’s trained include former four-division champ and brother Mikey Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Jose Ramirez, Bam Rodriguez, Abner Mares, Nonito Donaire, Brandon Rios and Antonio Margarito.
The Mexican was also a fighter himself, and won the IBF super-featherweight world title in 1998.
But in 2001, after a knockout loss to Joel Casamyaor, Garcia retired at the age of 26 and decided to focus on training.
Garcia is known to be an offensive, Mexican-style, front-foot trainer, and will train the tactics plenty believe Joshua needs to beat an elusive southpaw like Usyk.
The 47-year-old has said: “We’ll see who’s the better man. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win those titles back.
“I know he can do it. He’s the bigger man, he’s the stronger man, he’s got the reach advantage, so we’re going to take advantage of all that.
“Come that day, I think without a doubt, we’re going to have a three-time heavyweight champion of the world.”