With Tyson Fury out of the picture for now, Anthony Joshua has his next fight lined up.
The WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion will face former unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk on Sept. 25 in London, his promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Friday.
Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole reported earlier this month that the two sides were planning for that date.
Joshua was initially slated to face Fury, the WBC and lineal heavyweight champ, in a unification bout this summer, but a legal ruling forced Fury to give Deontay Wilder a trilogy fight instead. That bout is now scheduled for July 24 in Las Vegas. Neither Fury nor Joshua are very happy about it.
With the long awaited heavyweight unification bout on ice, the WBO decided to push Usyk as a mandatory challenger for Joshua. What fights are made from there will likely depend on who wins.
The 18-0 Usyk made the move to heavyweight in 2019 after capturing all four major titles at cruiserweight, and the move has so far gone pretty well. He forced a retirement from Chazz Witherspoon seven rounds into his debut, then defeated Derek Chisora by unanimous decision.
Usyk has not fought since that Chisora bout in October, but he’ll now get a chance to make a very loud entrance into what was already one of the messiest divisions in boxing.
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