Geopolitics Are Affecting Olekasandr Usyk v Anthony Joshua Rematch

Eddie Hearn Hopeful Usyk-Joshua II Takes Place in Either May or June

Oleksandr Usyk stands with his homeland of Ukraine
Oleksandr Usyk stands with his homeland of Ukraine

The Conflict in Ukraine Affecting Oleksandr Usyk v Joshua Rematch


Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk’s (19-0, 13 KOs) next fight will be a rematch with the man he beat for the titles, Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs). But when and where will it happen is suddenly up in the air. That’s due to the uncertainty when it comes to Usyk. As most fans know, his country of Ukraine has been invaded by Russia.

FIGHTING FOR HIS COUNTRY

Usky is dealing with the reality of an ongoing and escalating war. So serious is the situation that the 35-year-old has joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense to defend his homeland.

Oleksandr Usyk with fellow Ukrainian defenders

Joshua is promoted by Eddie Hearn, who was in attendance for the Lawrence Okolie – Michael Cieslak WBO cruiserweight title fight. The Matchroom Promotions chairman was asked about the status of the Usyk – Joshua II fight.

“I keep getting asked this question […] As far as I’m concerned, we’re moving on with the fight. No one’s spoken to me from team Usyk to say there could be a problem, but there are bigger things on their plate right now, quite frankly. So, we respect that it’s an emotional time for those guys in that country.

We’re preparing for May or early June, and I expect to finalize a date with Kressyuk (Usyk’s promoter) as planned over the next one or two weeks.”

UNRESOLVED MATTERS

The heavyweight championship is often said to be the most prized possession in sports. However, some things supersede the heavyweight titles. War happens to be one of them. Team Joshua understands that there must be a level of sensitivity applied given what Usyk is currently facing. Fellow boxers and fight fans have expressed support of the unified champ on social media.

Another option for Hearn could be an interim fight for Joshua. But, would he take that risk? It seems unlikely at this point.

Oleksandr Usyk is dealing with circumstances that are bigger than himself. His people are primary and the boxing community must respect what he’s going through. So, while Hearn is optimistic about the rematch happening in June, nothing can be finalized until the hostilities in Ukraine start to abate.

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By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.1991 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.