It was expected, and now it’s officially official. Oleksandr Usyk will defend the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles against Anthony Joshua in an Aug. 20 rematch from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The official announcement did not include broadcast details, but with Joshua recently signing a major partnership deal with DAZN, the expectation for now is that it will air on normal DAZN in most territories, likely including the U.S., and on DAZN pay-per-view in the United Kingdom.
That is, again, not official. There is the chance that it could also be on DAZN PPV in the U.S.; Top Rank and ESPN recently tried out Saturday afternoon PPV in the States for Fury vs Whyte in April, and if they think they can make enough extra money on it, it could happen for this, too.
The release also has a very brief quote from Usyk, who simply stated, “I have a goal, with the help of the Lord I will complete my mission!”
Usyk (19-0, 13 KO) upset Joshua (24-2, 22 KO) last September at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London. Joshua will be working with new trainer Robert Garcia for this fight.
“What a roller coaster journey, fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world for the 12th consecutive time,” said Joshua. “I won the belt, unified the division won another belt, lost the belts, became two-time unified heavyweight champion, and now have my date with history set to become three-time unified heavyweight champion of the world. What an opportunity.
“Fighting championship level back-to-back has had its pros and cons, but I decide every day to get stronger, to learn from my experiences and grow. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter, and I am the happiest and most motivated I have been.”
The event is being dubbed “Rage on the Red Sea,” I guess because boxing people still think there’s a chance they’re going to strike marketing gold like “The Rumble in the Jungle,” etc., even though nobody is going to use that as a hashtag.
For those interested in the early odds, DraftKings Sportsbook currently have Usyk as a -215 favorite, with Joshua at +175.