Anthony Joshua will face WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 after showdown with rival Tyson Fury collapsed… as heavyweight star becomes first boxer to fight at Tottenham Hotspur’s state-of-the-art stadium
- Anthony Joshua has announced his next fight as he faces Oleksandr Usyk
- The British heavyweight will put his four world title belts on the line in London
- Joshua will be the first boxer to fight at Tottenham’s state-of-the-art stadium
- Both Usyk and Joshua are former Olympic gold medal winners who are now pro
Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will put his four title belts on the line on September 25 after it was confirmed the British heavyweight will face Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Joshua, 31, currently holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles and while he wanted to unify the division against Tyson Fury, he has been ordered to defend his WBO title against mandatory challenger Usyk.
‘The date is set and we are fully locked in,’ Joshua, who toured the stadium prior to Tuesday’s announcement, said.
‘I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown.
Anthony Joshua will defend his four world heavyweight title belts at Tottenham’s stadium
The Brit will face Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 after hopes of a fight with Tyson Fury failed
Following the announcement Joshua showed off a selfie from the top of Tottenham’s stadium
‘We are two Olympic Gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges.’
Joshua is the first prizefighter to headline an event at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs’ stunning new 60,000-seater stadium was due to host Joshua’s fight with Kubrat Pulev last year until the coronavirus crisis forced the bout indoors to Wembley Arena, in front of only 1,000 supporters.
He returns to London for his fifth stadium fight and fans will see Joshua following in the footsteps of former British fighter Frank Bruno, who defeated Joe Bugner in Matchroom Boxing’s first heavyweight promotion at the old White Hart Lane in October 1987.
Joshua will be the first headline fighter to compete at Tottenham’s state-of-the-art stadium
As part of Tuesday’s announcement, Joshua did a roof walk with his belts as part of a tour
‘The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric,’ Joshua added.
‘I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe inspiring venue. The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.’
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, has been handling negotiations with Usyk and his team in recent months and was left delighted to get everything signed on Tuesday.
‘Olympic Gold vs. Olympic Gold, Unified World Heavyweight Champion vs. Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion,’ Hearn said.
‘This one has it all and I can’t wait to stage this huge event in front of over 60,000 at the stunning Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.’
The skeleton details of this deal were struck a while back but, as reported by Sportsmail earlier this month, a few lingering issues had to be ironed out before it could be made official.
Joshua defeated Kubrat Pulev (right) in his last fight at Wembley Arena in December last year
Tottenham were due to face rivals Arsenal across north London on September 25 but that game has now been moved to the following day, while the government’s recent announcements pave the way for a capacity crowd.
‘This is a huge occasion for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Anthony Joshua is an icon in the world of sport and to have him fight here in London N17, against a top opponent in Oleksandr Usyk, will be amazing for the area of Tottenham,’ Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said.
‘This event will once again showcase the stadium’s ability to take the hosting of world-class sporting occasions to the next level – we cannot wait for September 25.’
Usyk, who went pro in 2013, stepped up to heavyweight in 2019, having become the undisputed cruiserweight champion in only 15 professional fights.
The Ukrainian last fought in October 2020 against Dereck Chisora where he secured a win on points.
Joshua has been out of action since victory over Pulev.
Usyk (left) defeated Dereck Chisora (right) in his last fight, which took place in October 2020