Joshua rematch with Usyk ‘realistic’ for March and UK is frontrunner to host

ANTHONY JOSHUA and Oleksandr Usyk’s rematch is ‘realistic’ for March as Eddie Hearn revealed the UK is leading the race to host the fight.

Joshua, 32, was beaten in September by Usyk, 34, and surrendered the unified WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.


Anthony Joshua, promoter Eddie Hearn and Oleksandr UsykCredit: Rex
Oleksandr Usyk beat Anthony Joshua to win the unified heavyweight titles


Oleksandr Usyk beat Anthony Joshua to win the unified heavyweight titlesCredit: Getty

But the defiant British superstar invoked his right to an immediate rematch right away as he looks to again reclaim his throne.

Hearn is set to start talks with Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk in the coming weeks and believes the pair will fight in the UK once more.

He told iFL TV: “I think March is realistic, yeah March, around March.”

Asked if the UK is the frontrunner to host, Hearn replied: “I think so yeah, I’d like to do it back in the UK.

“Like I say, we’ve had approaches, offers, it’s a huge fight and there will be a lot of people wanting to stage it.

“But I would like to do it back in the UK.”

After Joshua suffered his first career defeat, to Andy Ruiz Jr, 32, in June 2019, he brilliantly boxed his way to revenge in Saudi Arabia six months later.

He stayed loyal to head coach Rob McCracken, despite calls to change is approach.

And the same questions have been asked again following AJ’s latest setback, which has left his coaching situation up in the air.

Speculation only heightened with pictures revealing Joshua in several US-based gyms as he joined Hearn in America to enjoy some downtime.

He visited Canelo’s esteemed coach Eddy Reynoso, Joshua Buatsi’s trainer Virgil Hunter, Mike Tyson’s ex-cornerman Ronnie Shields and also Robert Garcia.

But Hearn did not confirm whether Joshua was looking to replace McCracken – the man who led him to Olympic gold in 2012 – or just seeking advice.

He told iFL TV: “I think March is realistic, yeah March, around March… I’d like to do it back in the UK.

Eddie Hearn on Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk

He said: “The speculation’s been unbelievable, hasn’t it?

“He came out with me to the States, he wanted to have a chill, he wanted to go and travel around. He wanted to see gyms, he wanted to speak to people.

“You know he’s a guy that loves to absorb knowledge and he went to see a number of gyms and fighters and trainers.

“He hasn’t split from Rob McCracken, he hasn’t decided that he’s going to join another trainer.

“I think he’s just trying to learn, he’s trying to look at his setup, trying to look at ways to improve and he’s working.

“He’s out there, putting the work in now everyday getting ready for the rematch.

“And I’ve never seen him so focussed for a fight, for a rematch and he just wants to get it 100 per cent right. He knows he must win this fight.”

Anthony Joshua tells Mike Tyson’s old coach Ronnie Shields to turn him into a dog for Oleksandr Usyk rematch

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