World heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk has returned to Ukraine to defend his homeland from Russian attacks. The upcoming boxing match against Anthony Joshua is currently the last thing on the 35-year-old’s mind. His promoter Eddie Hearn has now confirmed that the rematch has not yet been shelved.
The rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk is set to go ahead but has been a long way off for now given the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Usyk’s willingness to join the defense alliances in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
Actually, Usyk vs. Joshua II should have taken place in May or June. Last September, the Ukrainian beat Joshua on points at the mega-event in the stadium of London football club Tottenham Hotspur. Since then he has held the titles of the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO associations.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who has hosted Usyk’s last four fights and is also involved in the contracted rematch, told “ESPN‘ as follows: ‘We don’t want the rematch commitment to pass. We will therefore wait as long as Oleksandr Usyk needs during this difficult time for him.
At the same time, he admitted that challenger Anthony Joshua might get an interim fight by then.
Hearn said, “It’s a very unique, personal and emotional situation and I don’t think we can really get to the bottom of what’s going on there and what’s going on in the minds of those involved.”
Oleksandr Usyk recently described his situation to “CNN”. Of course, the world champion isn’t thinking about boxing at the moment, he doesn’t know when he’ll be back in the ring: “My country and my honor are more important than the world championship belt.”