Saudi to host Joshua-Usyk rematch?

30 Mar, 2022 - 00:03 0 Views
Saudi to host Joshua-Usyk rematch? Anthony Joshua


RIYADH. – Saudi Arabia could host the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch in late June, according to the Ukrainian’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk.

Usyk is set to face Briton Joshua after beating him last year to be crowned unified heavyweight champion.

“Saudi is the place we are in discussions with at the moment,” Krassyuk told BBC Sport.

“Late June is the date we are looking at. Nothing has been confirmed on paper. We are working on it.”

While Saudi Arabia is believed to be the front runner, Krassyuk has not ruled out the rematch taking place elsewhere.

“There are other options but we take it step by step,” he added.

A fight in Saudi Arabia is likely to provoke controversy, with the country accused of investing in sport and using high-profile events to ‘sports wash’ its reputation in other parts of the world amid concerns over its human rights record.

Joshua could return to Saudi Arabia having regained his world title belts by beating Mexican Andy Ruiz Jnr in the capital Riyadh in December 2019, after being knocked out by the Mexican in a shock knockout defeat six months earlier.

Usyk won the WBA, WBO and IBF belts from Joshua on a unanimous points decision at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

The rematch with Joshua, 32, had initially been targeted for May but was pushed back after Usyk enlisted in Ukraine’s military this month.

The 35-year-old left his native Ukraine, where he had been helping to defend the country, on March 23.

He confirmed the rematch two days later in an Instagram post, saying: “I decided to start preparing for a rematch with Anthony Joshua.” BBC Sport.

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