Exclusive: Usyk will fight Joshua despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine, says Eddie Hearn

As Anthony Joshua looks to reclaim his three heavyweight titles from Oleksandr Usyk, the Ukrainian world champion has travelled back to his home country following Russia's invasion.

Since Vladimir Putin's Russian army have invaded the capital Kyiv, the war in Ukraine has arisen some question marks as to whether the much anticipated rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will go ahead.

Joshua is bidding to reclaim the unified WBA (Super), IBF and WBO heavyweight titles, with the fight rumoured to take place in May this year. But a potential outbreak of European warfare could postpone his redemption.

However, Matchroom chairman and promoter Eddie Hearn believes that the war in Europe - which has seen the Klitschko brothers prepared to fight on the front-line - will not hamper the fight itself.

Hearn told Planet Sport: "I don't think the situation in Ukraine will affect the fight but I can't speak on behalf of Oleksandr Usyk, it is a very personal situation they are in.

"People keep saying will this affect AJ-Usyk, I can't tell you what Usyk is thinking. But the answer is no it won't affect the fight. Usyk will start camp in about four weeks' time. It is a sensitive subject; his country is at war."

Oleksandr Usyk

Despite the war in Ukraine and Usyk's intentions back at home being unclear, Hearn looks forward and outlines his desire to have Joshua reclaim his titles back in the UK.

There had been rumours that Usyk-Joshua2 would take place in the likes of Dubai or Saudi Arabia, with multiple venues bidding to hold one of the biggest fights in boxing history.

Despite this, Hearn has previously hinted that Tottenham Hotspur's new 60,000 seater stadium is the dream venue as both Englishman look to hold the fight in England.

Hearn stated: "I would like to do it in the UK, AJ wants to do it in the UK. But obviously Usyk has a share in the revenue for the fight. So he may want to go to wherever the biggest offer is, and we are obviously open to that as well.

"We will go through all the various offers that are coming in from various sites with Alex Krassyuk and we will make a decision in due course."

A fight however that is completely out of the hands of Hearn is Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte.

Tyson Fury

Matchroom's purse bid of £24 million to promote the fight was outweighed and beaten by the bid of £31 million from Frank Warren's Queensberry.

Hearn was mocked and laughed at by the 'Gypsy King' after failing to succeed with the bid as Whyte signed the fight contract hours before the April fight schedule deadline.

The boxing promoter and Fury have not been on the best of terms since Hearn decided not to sign the fighter back in 2017.

When the pair met in Monaco five years ago, Fury weighed 26 stone and hadn't boxed in over a year. Now, Hearn is kicking himself as he watches one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time from the sidelines.

Fury-Whyte will take place at Wembley Stadium on the 23rd of April 2022 where Whyte is currently seen as the underdog in this upcoming bout.

Yet, Hearn believes the 'villain' can claim the WBC heavyweight championship from Fury for the first time in his career.

Dillian Whyte

Hearn was impressed with Whyte's silence and delayed signing of the fight contract. He thinks that his mind games, alongside his powerful left hook, can overthrow Fury.

Hearn added: "Whyte can beat Fury by being a big strong and tough heavyweight that can really switch your lights out with one punch, in particular the left hook. I can see it happening and I believe he can do it."

Read more: Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte to collide on April 23 at Wembley Stadium

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