Seven months after their first battle, Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk have reportedly agreed to terms for a rematch.
Per ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, Usyk and Joshua will square off for the unified heavyweight title on August 20.
A location for the bout has yet to be determined, but Coppinger noted it will “likely” be held in Saudi Arabia.
Leading up to the first bout in September, promoter Eddie Hearn told Sean O’Brien of talkSport that the agreement included an automatic rematch clause for Joshua.
“Yes, there will be [a rematch clause]. It’s a two-fight deal in that respect,” Hearn said. “If he wins the fight, he’ll move on, and he will hopefully fight the winner of Wilder vs. Fury.”
Coppinger noted Joshua “quickly” exercised his rematch clause, but “the timing of the bout was in disarray due to the war in Usyk’s native Ukraine.”
Usyk told CNN’s Don Riddell in March that he joined the territorial defense battalion in Ukraine to help the country against the Russian invasion.
“Maybe, it’ll sound sentimental,” he said, “but my soul belongs to the Lord and my body and my honor belong to my country, to my family. So there is no fear, absolutely no fear. There’s just bafflement—how could this be in the 21st century?”
According to Coppinger, Usyk left Ukraine in March to start training camp in order to prepare for a summer bout with Joshua.
“Luckily I did not see much of war,” Usyk told YouTube channel Blockasset this week (via Coppinger). “But what I see and what I know from my relatives and my friends is terrible. … Some of my friends are missing, and we do not know where they are now. Many of my relatives lost their homes and lost their friends and loved ones.”
Joshua’s loss to Usyk was the second in his past four fights. AJ began his career with 22 consecutive victories before falling to Andy Ruiz Jr. by TKO in June 2019. He won the rematch six months later by unanimous decision to regain the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO titles.
Usyk has a perfect 19-0 record. The Cat began his career as a cruiserweight, winning 16 consecutive bouts before moving up to heavyweight. He defeated Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora to earn a shot against Joshua.
In his win over Joshua, Usyk had a 148-123 advantage in total punches landed and a 96-71 edge in power punches.