Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will return to the ring to face mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. After his bout with Tyson Fury fell through, the WBO ordered ‘AJ’ to honor his mandatory. However, his promoter Eddie Hearn has made a surprising admission about the fight.
Rumors point towards a September 25 event at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the UK. Therefore, talks have seemingly progressed fast, and we could get an official announcement soon. And Hearn also gave an update on the situation.
The promoter spoke to SkySports and revealed the two parties had agreed to a deal. He said, “We have both alerted the WBO, myself and (Usyk’s promoter) Alex Krassyuk. Terms are agreed. The offer we made to them has been accepted. We move forward to paper that now.” He then confirmed that it would be an amicable procedure as the two work together for Usyk.
However, after the update, Hearn made a worrying admission. “This is a fight that could derail the career of Joshua if he’s not on it, if he’s not 100 per cent. AJ needs to be ruthless.” The Englishman then said Joshua needs to be as ruthless as Derek Chisora was in Usyk’s last fight, with better ‘cuteness and sharpness.’
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Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua wants to make a point
The update from Hearn will be good news for British boxing fans. However, his comments regarding Usyk’s challenge showed that he is not taking the Ukrainian lightly. Moreover, he wants ‘AJ’ to learn from Usyk’s last fight. Despite this, he reassured fans about why Joshua wants the fight.
Hearn said, “Time and time again, AJ has never shirked a challenge. And this is a real challenge. Look at the pound-for-pound top-10 list, AJ is not on it. Usyk is. AJ wants to make a statement, these are the fights that he likes.”
Thus, this comment revealed that Joshua is not taking the fight only because Usyk is the mandatory, but also because he wants to shut down any questions. ‘AJ’ faces heaps of criticism surrounding his boxing ability, and many claim Usyk’s superior fight IQ will give him the edge. Only time will tell if the champion can prove them wrong.
What do you make of these comments from Eddie Hearn? Do you think Anthony Joshua needs to worry about the threat of Oleksandr Usyk?
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