With Tyson Fury easily dispatching fellow Briton Dillian Whyte in front of a packed-out Wembley Stadium last weekend, heavyweight boxing fans will now be looking ahead to a future without the Gypsy King — as Fury confirmed his retirement from the combat sport after his sixth-round TKO victory over the Londoner.
Make of those retirement plans what you will, with many sceptical as to whether or not the Whyte fight really was his last. Whatever the true outcome, the heavyweight division must move on and the prospect of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk trading blows for the second time will have boxing fans rubbing their hands with glee.
The pair have been locked in talks since Usyk dominated Joshua to win by unanimous decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September. But due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the 35-year-old’s homeland, there is yet to be a solid breakthrough — with key details like the date and location up in the air.
As we approach the mid-way point of 2022, there will surely be more information made public in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the things we do know. Read on to find out more.
When will the fight take place?
With Usyk recently revealing that he is leaving Ukraine in a bid to prepare for this bout, it is being reported that the fight is finally on course to take place this summer — with July seemingly the likeliest time.
While some media outlets understand that the current date being looked at is Saturday, July 23rd, that is not yet confirmed. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn did tell talkSPORT July is the target though.
At the moment, we are finalizing the location of his team in London this week, so we’re going to sit down with them.
“I think in two weeks’ time we’ll finalise the date.” It will be in July.
“And hopefully AJ can become a three-time heavyweight world champion.”
Where will the fight take place?
There have been several locations touted since the first bout, with the pair clashing again in London for a second time being a possibility at one point. While after defeating Joshua, Usyk claimed that he wanted the defence of his new WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles to take place in Ukraine, which is obviously out of the question now.
It looks likely that the fight will now take place in Saudi Arabia, as they have lodged a huge £90m bid to host the bout.
Saudi Arabia has been a place of redemption for Joshua in the past, of course, as he defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. at the Diriyah Arena to regain his titles after being stunned by the American at Madison Square Garden in his debut on US soil.
Who is the favourite?
Having looked comfortable and in control for much of the first bout, even taking his foot off the gas a touch when he had Joshua against the ropes late on at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it is no surprise that sites like Betdaq are pricing Usyk up as the odds-on favourite.