Joshua vs. Usyk in June, Eddie Hearn believes it will happen
By Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn says he now believes Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua will meet for their rematch in June after all.
Hearn is indicating that the Joshua vs. Usyk II rematch will proceed as originally planned for June, which is good news for boxing fans that have been clamoring for the fight.
The cultural minister of Ukraine has given Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) and Vasily Lomachenko permission to leave the country to take part in fights.
IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Usyk and former three-division world champion Lomachenko have been defending Ukraine in response to the Russian invasion for the last three weeks, and it was believed by some fans that they would stay until the war ended.
Hearn isn’t saying what he’s been told to make him believe that the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk, 34, will leave Ukraine to defend his three titles against Joshua.
Joshua has sounded obsessed with getting the rematch with Usyk, since losing to him by a 12 round unanimous decision last year on September 25th at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.
AJ foolishly tried to outbox Usyk and wound up losing by the scores: 117-112, 115-113, and 116-112. Joshua is convinced that they’ll win the rematch with Usyk and right the wrongs of what took place last September.
“Is AJ vs Usyk happening now? I actually think it will,” said Eddie Hearn to TalkSport about his belief Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk rematch could be taking place in June.
“I actually think that fight will happen next and it will happen in June.”
It’s difficult to imagine Usyk leaving his country during this critical period of the war with Russia, as it would mean that he would be away for as long as eight weeks.
What will Usyk’s fans and fellow countrymen think of him leaving the war during this important period?
The question is, will Usyk be able to concentrate 100% on his training for the Joshua rematch with Ukraine being bombarded daily by the Russian military?
You have to believe that the rematch favors Joshua right now, given the war situation in Ukraine, as it will be almost impossible to Usyk to fully attend mentally to his training for the fight.
To be sure, a distracted Usyk will be a vulnerable one, and you can understand why Hearn would be so eager to make this fight now. It gives Joshua his best – and perhaps only – chance of beating Usyk.
“The Ukrainian government, which is tremendous, are co-operating with us as far as Lomachenko and also Usyk,” said Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to Fanatics View about Oleksandr Usyk and Vasily Lomachenko being given permission to leave Ukraine to participate in important fights.
“They realize there’s tremendous publicity value in having them come out, train, and participate in title fights.
“So I don’t know where that stands with either guy, whether they’re going to accept the offer of the cultural minister of Ukraine to leave and to train for fights.”