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Anthony Joshua To Defend His Heavyweight Titles Against Usyk

Anthony Joshua will defend his Heavyweight Titles against Oleksandr Usyk on September 25.

Gatekeepers News reports that British-Nigerian Anthony Joshua will defend his World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, and World Boxing Organisation heavyweight titles against Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on September 25.

Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, who announced this on Tuesday, said although the boxer was set to fight compatriot Tyson Fury in a unification bout in Saudi Arabia in August, the contest was halted when a United States arbitrator ruled World Boxing Council champion Fury must defend his title against Deontay Wilder.

That trilogy contest which was earlier scheduled to take place this weekend has been delayed to October 9 in Las Vegas after Fury tested positive for COVID-19.

However, Joshua will now fulfil his mandatory WBO title defence at the first boxing event staged at the new home of Tottenham Hotspur football club in London.

Victory could pave the way for a ‘super-fight’ with Fury, provided his compatriot sees off American boxer Wilder in their third meeting after a December 2018 draw was followed by a February 2020 seventh-round technical knockout for the Briton.

If Joshua successfully takes Ukraine’s Usyk down, he will be facing a fellow London 2012 gold medallist.

Joshua was the Olympic champion in the super-heavyweight category at those Games, with a former undisputed world cruiserweight champion topping the podium in the heavyweight division.

Joshua in a statement issued by Matchroom Sport said, “The date is set and we are fully locked in.

“I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown. We are two Olympic gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges.”

Although Usyk has won all 18 of his professional contests, 13 inside the distance, only two of those bouts have been as a heavyweight.

Usyk, who is three years older than Joshua, said, “The path will be mastered by the walking one.”

His most recent bout came in a points decision win over another British boxer Derek Chisora in October 2020.

The British-Nigerian who has only been defeated once in 25 professional contests, had been scheduled to fight Kubrat Pulev at Spurs’ home ground in June 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic saw the contest switched to Wembley Arena in December of the same year, with Joshua enjoying a ninth-round knockout win.

Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, said he is expecting a crowd of more than 60,000 at the 62,850 capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Hearn said, “Olympic gold vs Olympic gold, unified world heavyweight champion vs undisputed cruiserweight world champion this one has it all.”

Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy while welcoming the fight coming to the north London club’s home said, “Anthony Joshua is an icon in the world of sport and to have him fight here in London N17, against a top opponent in Oleksandr Usyk, will be amazing for the area of Tottenham.

“This event will once again showcase the stadium’s ability to take the hosting of world-class sporting occasions to the next level — we cannot wait for September 25.”

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