As expected, Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has officially announced that he’ll leave his native Ukraine to train for his upcoming rematch with Anthony Joshua.
As a father of three, Usyk (19-0, 13 KO) was automatically exempt from the current regulations requiring all able-bodied men between 18-60 to join Ukraine’s armed services.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KO), whom Usyk soundly outboxed last September to claim the IBF, WBO, and WBA titles, had been searching for a potential alternate foe in case the planned summer date fell through. That’s now unnecessary, and with the timetable back to its original state, there’s a good chance we could see an undisputed heavyweight title fight before year’s end.
Best of luck to Usyk in getting to safety. We’ll bring you more info once we have a concrete date; Eddie Hearn recently told iFL TV that they were targeting June, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see them push it back a bit to give Usyk more time to re-acclimate to the gym.