Usyk, Joshua rematch: organizers draw under card

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor

The much anticipated heavyweight rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua is drawing closer by the day as we enter the month of August.

Like what seemed forever to happen in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to sports lovers and importantly, to the British who want revenge for his defeat last year, is close to reality.

The fight scheduled for August 20 at Jeddah Super Dome in Saudi Arabia already has its undercard fixed. This has further raised the level of expectancy about the hypothetically most debated bout in recent times in boxing history.

According to the fixtures of the undercard, the undefeated Croatian Filip Hrgovic, with fourteen wins and 12 knockouts, fights China’s undefeated Zhilei Zhang, who has a record of 19 knockouts from 24 wins, in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Heavyweight World Title.

While for the Final Eliminator for the World Title with its current champion being Russian Artur Beterbiev, English Callum Smith, with 20 knockouts from 28 wins, tangles with French Mathieu Bauderlique, who has recorded 20 knockouts from 28 wins.

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Joshua is eager to reclaim his heavyweight championship belts, WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles from the Usyk who left Ukraine, presently being ravaged by the Russian army, to honour the challenge activated In principle last year.

“The rematch was specified in the contract,” Alexander Krassyuk, Usyk boxing promoter said last year in a press conference.

“It has already been activated in principle, from the side of Joshua.

“So I remember when we discussed with Oleksandr the issue of a rematch, he was delighted and said ‘Wow, cool, I will beat Antokha [Anthony] twice,” he added.

Both greats will look to share at least £100m in the cracking rematch but what is more pressing is to even or extend their head-to-head record.

Other fixtures for the undercard include Tyron Spong against Andrew Tabiti, Daniel Lapin against Jozef Jurko, Ramla Ali tangles Crystal Garcia Nova, Ziyad Almaayouf battles Hector Alatorre and Badou Jack pipped against Richard Rivera.

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