Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will face the former champion, Anthony Joshua, on August 20 in Saudi Arabia.
The Russian invasion of Usyk’s home country of Ukraine in February has postponed the rematch plan. Shortly after the invasion, Usyk immediately went home and join local defense along with fellow boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko.
However, in late March, Usyk gained official permission to leave Ukraine and prepare for the rematch against Joshua.
Former Undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk embarrassed Joshua in front of 65,000 attendance in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in September. Despite being significantly smaller, Usyk comfortably beat Joshua with a 12-round unanimous decision.
The two now have met with each other for the first time ahead of their highly-anticipated rematch.
To the attending media, Joshua admits that he is now aiming to become a three-time champion.
“I want to say God is good all the time, even through tough times,” Joshua said. “Definitely the hunger is still there, as I always said from the get-go, stay hungry.”
“Just keep the motivation high, blips happen, things happen in life but resilience, mental toughness and consistency will always prevail so we’re still on the road to undisputed for sure. It’s just a little blip on the road but I’m focused on the target which is sitting over there, focused on the goal and God-willing I will perform and become three-time heavyweight champion.”
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Usyk chose to address the media team himself in English.
“Hello everybody, I’m very happy I am here and I am very happy for my next fight in Saudi Arabia.”
“As we all know we are not in the best conditions at the moment back at home, but we are doing what we have to do, we are doing our job. Together with my team we are working hard to achieve our goals.”
“I never made some very loud and bright speeches, all I did was just work hard in my training camp in my gym. That’s what I’m going to do until the date of the fight, and then I will enter the ring and make you happy with my boxing.”
This fight will be the second time Joshua fighting in the Middle East kingdom. Back in 2020, he beat Andy Ruiz Jr. to reclaim his belts in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
He will now once again attempt to reclaim his lost belts in Saudi Arabia. This time, the 40,000-seated Jeddah Superdome in Jeddah will host the championship rematch.
Their second encounter is billed as ‘Rage on the Red Sea’ and the undercards will be announced in few weeks.