Saudi Arabia has been tagged as one of the possible locations for the heavyweight championship rematch between Ukrainian Oleksandr and Anthony Joshua. This was revealed by Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk. He also said that the fight could take place late June, although nothing is sure at this time.
The two boxers would meet for the second time after their first encounter in August 2021, when Usyk won the WBO, WBA, and IBF titles from Joshua through unanimous decision. Now, the British boxer would seek to regain the titles from Usyk this June.
Speaking recently in an interview, Krassyuk noted that Saudi Arabia was being considered as the local hon for the upcoming fight: “[Saudi Arabia] is under discussion at the moment. Late June is also the timing we are considering now.
“Many things will depend on how fast we manage to ink the papers. The good thing is that Usyk is already in Europe to start his preparation.”
The fight was initially supposed to hold in May but had to be pushed back after Usyk travelled to Ukraine to volunteer as a fighter in the ongoing Russian invasion. He returned last week and started training already.
The decision to host the fight in Saudi Arabia would prove problematic, if it becomes official. Saudi Arabia has been accused of human rights abuses and it has been said that they use sports to cover up for it. Several sports, including Formula One and golf, have been criticised for holding events in Saudi Arabia as recently as this year. It was in Saudi Arabia that Anthony Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz jr. to reclaim the heavyweight titles and become the heavyweight champion again, and he was criticised then.
But according to Krassyuk, nothing has been set in stone yet, meaning the rematch may take place in another country. We can expect official details to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Written by: Leon Osamor