Talented Ukrainian maestro Oleksandr Usyk is training hard as the former undisputed cruiserweight champion plots a heavyweight shock on September 25.
Usyk, who cleaned out at 200 pounds and won the World Boxing Super Series into the bargain, is the joker in the pack of the top division.
Known for his photo-bombing antics to Bob Arum in England and his “I am Very Feel” persona, Usyk is a likable character and much-loved in the sport.
A win over Joshua would be well-received by the majority of fans outside of the United Kingdom. If he can achieve it, Usyk stands to take Joshua’s current position as the number two heavyweight on the planet. He’ll also cost the current champion a cool $100 million.
Joshua has plans in the pipeline to revive his failed negotiations with Tyson Fury in 2022. Last time out, both men got close to sealing a deal until naivety on either side kicked in.
Neither Eddie Hearn nor Bob Arum accounted for the ongoing mediation Deontay Wilder had launched. They took it for granted that “The Bronze Bomber” would step aside.
This scenario transpired despite no offer getting sent to Wilder. The American made his intentions clear that he wanted a third fight with Fury.
Should Usyk crash the party, the power of holding, more than one version of the biggest prize in sport lies with him. Joshua would get pushed out of any talks with Fury and into a rematch Usyk in the first six months of next year.
It’s no secret that AJ adds rematch clauses into all his fights just in case the worst happens, as it did with Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019.
Hearn, who instigates the clauses for Joshua as the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, doesn’t sign his contracts [according to the Essex man] is looking forward to the fight.
He said: “Olympic Gold vs. Olympic Gold. Unified World Heavyweight Champion vs. Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion.
“This one has it all! – I can’t wait to stage this huge event in front of over 60,000 at the stunning Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.”
Alexander Krassyuk, General Director of K2 Promotions and representative of Usyk, mentioned the rematch in his pre-fight quotes.
“This is a huge fight between two gentlemen of the sport. Wow!
“The two London 2012 Olympic Champions are set to collide for the Heavyweight crowns. Let the best man win. We will see you again for the rematch!”
If Usyk wins, and Fury beats Wilder again, where does that leave “The Gypsy King” – who knows?