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Why Oleksandr Usyk deserves Ukraine homecoming for Anthony Joshua II

Oleksandr Usyk proved to be one of the greatest boxers of his generation on Saturday night when mastering former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in London.

The talented Ukrainian was in fine form as he dispatched a near-perfect gameplan against Joshua to take a clutch of title belts.

It’s the second time in two years that Joshua has surrendered his titles. Like the first, a second chance got written in the contract to happen immediately.

So, where will it happen?

There’s only one place it should happen, and that’s in Ukraine, possibly at an outdoor football venue in Kyiv or another major city.

Why? – Because Oleksandr Usyk has fought and beaten each one of his last ten opponents away from home, spanning over half a decade.

The last time Usyk fought in Kyiv was against Pedro Julio Rodriguez in December of 2015. He won via TKO in the seventh round.

Since then, six countries have stamped Usyk’s passport as “Mr. I am Feel,” defeated Marco Huck, Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev, and Tony Bellew – among others.

Usyk has earned the number two spot on the WBN Pound for Pound list and fully deserves a title defense of home soil.

Whether that is in the offing is up for debate. As with the Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch, Joshua may hold most of the aces on where the event gets staged.

Ruiz managed to get a neutral venue in Saudi Arabia. Still, he was never in shape to fight as he partied his way through initial celebrations of becoming Mexico’s first-ever heavyweight champion.

Oleksandr Usyk with Ukraine flag



Despite stating he wants some time off, Usyk will also agree on the return within six months. This scenario could see Usyk vs. Joshua II happening by March or April at the latest.

Saudi Arabia could be an option again as the nation missed out on a massive fight between Tyson Fury and Joshua in 2020 and 2021.

It’s doubtful Usyk would want to face Joshua in the UK again. But saying that, Usyk is a road warrior. He possibly would do it anyway.

More will come to light over the coming weeks as to the details of the rematch as the new ruler gets used to being the number one heavyweight in the division – at least until October 9th.

On that date, Fury will fight for the first time in twenty months against Deontay Wilder.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.