- Anthony Joshua’s long-awaited showdown against Tyson Fury collapsed
- Fury has to face Deontay Wilder for a third time and Joshua is moving on
- He is set to face WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk in September
- Eddie Hearn says the fight against the Ukrainian will be signed this week
Anthony Joshua will sign to fight WBO challenger Oleksandr Usyk this week with the bout likely to take place in Tottenham Stadiumthis September.
Eddie Hearn has shed light on the details of the British heavyweight’s next move having been forced to shelve plans for a massive unification showdown with Tyson Fury.
AJ’s promoter told DAZN: ‘I can tell you that this week, that this is a more confident footing than the Joshua – Fury negotiations, because I know Alex Krassyuk very well, and I know Usyk very well.
Anthony Joshua is set to take on WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk next
Usyk, seen here beating Derek Chisora, is a dangerous opponent, admits Eddie Hearn
This week that fight will be signed. We’re looking at September in London. Just finalising the details. It’s a great fight, a dangerous fight, it’s not the one we necessarily wanted or expected.’
The venue set to play host is Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, according to Sky Sports. It is hoped that the 62,000-seater venue will be able to welcome a capacity crowd by the autumn.
Hearn continued: ‘It’s a high level heavyweight fight. It’s a unified heavyweight champion against the undisputed cruiserweight champion, and on we go with that fight – it’s a big event.’
Fury has been told by an arbitration judge that he has to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time, as per a stipulation in their previous contract.
Eddie Hearn revealed that the heavyweight showdown could take place in London
AJ last fought against Kubrat Pulev last year, beating the Bulgarian handily in London
After months of build-up to what many fans had hoped would be a unification bout between Fury and Joshua, both sides have cast blame for the deal falling through.
Fury has insisted that he will return to fight AJ once he has finished the job against Wilder yet again.
When questioned about the delay in AJ accepting the Usyk fight after it became clear Fury was off the table, Hearn said: ‘Give AJ the credit. I always bang on the drum that this young man is willing to fight everybody.
‘It was more like not having anywhere to breathe. It was terrible timing from the WBO, but they were just doing their job.’
The former Olympic champion beat Kubrat Pulev in December last year and has been frustrated on the sidelines ever since, hopeful that a deal with Fury could be struck.
Usyk is yet to taste defeat as a professional but Joshua would be a huge step up in quality
Tyson Fury (left) has been told he has to fight Deontay Wilder (right) for a third time
He will now have to put that disappointment behind him and focus on Usyk, who will enter the fight as a significantly smaller fighter but possesses unquestionable technical quality.
Usyk remains unbeaten in 18 fights as a professional but is relatively inexperienced in the heavyweight division. He beat Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora at heavyweight but Joshua will be a huge step up in quality.
If Joshua beats Usyk and Fury dispatches Wilder again, the path to the British stars colliding should in theory be unimpeded.