Exclusive: Joshua vs Usyk to be confirmed next week, rematch clause is in contract

Usyk's manager is confident of a victory over Anthony Joshua later this year...

The heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will be confirmed by next week, according to Alexander Krassyuk.

The pair have been locked in talks for some time since the collapse of Joshua-Fury and there were concerns as to why it was taking so long to announce.

However, Usyk's promoter has revealed it is a done deal and there is a rematch clause installed in the contract for Joshua should he taste defeat to the Ukrainian.

The fight, which involves Joshua defending his WBA, IBF and WBO titles, will take place on September 25 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

"It's done. Next week we're going to have the announcement," Krassyuk exclusively told Planet Sport.

"Actually there was no delay. There was just the process of coordination inside the paperwork so on my side I had to secure not just one fight but the rematch as well. It's already public that if Usyk wins, Joshua wants the rematch.

"We treat it very seriously, and to avoid any misunderstandings after Usyk's victory, we spent some extra time coordinating the issues that might be really important after he wins and when we move to the rematch - that's why it took a bit of extra time.

"I don't really like to say, 'wow this is something extraordinary' because most promoters say it's extraordinary before every fight. For Usyk, it's not an exaggeration to say this stage is the fight of his life.

"He's been moving from cruiserweight and the fight of his life was when he unified all of the belts and then the fight of his life was to defeat [Tony] Bellew in Manchester. Now he is in front of another challenge - he has to defeat AJ, the king of the heavyweight division.

"He defeated Klitschko and many other champions, he is the unified champion and to challenge him is something extraordinary. It's something that doesn't happen to you every day and Usyk treats it really seriously. He's working so hard, even before he had any certainty about this fight."

Joyce never a consideration

The Head of K2 Promotions also stated the reasoning behind why they did not enter negotiations with another Briton in Joe Joyce.

"We were expecting this to happen [Joshua-Usyk].

"We didn't have serious movements with Joe Joyce because we were expecting this thing to happen even when the WBO ruling appeared that we have to have negotiations with Joe Joyce and fix the date for the interim (belt).

"We issued an official letter to the WBO saying that we will not do that until the regular title is ruled properly because as soon as the regular title fight is announced then we can switch to the interim negotiations because otherwise that would look very stupid."

Joe Joyce Bermane Stiverne
Joe Joyce Bermane Stiverne

Usyk has the power to hurt AJ

Usyk has fought just twice at heavyweight since winning the World Boxing Super Series in 2018, beating Chazz Witherspoon inside the distance before outpointing Derek Chisora last year.

The southpaw star, who also dispatched Tony Bellew in his final fight as undisputed champion at 200lbs, is rated as one of the best Pound for Pound fighters in world boxing but some have questioned his credentials at heavyweight.

Should Usyk defeat Joshua, many expect it to be on points rather than via knockout, something which amused Krassyuk.

"How can people say that? When Usyk is in the ring and showing his skills, he doesn't need a punch to win the fight," Krassyuk said. "When he wants to win it like he does with Bellew, he takes three or four preparational punches and then the one that lands the guy down.

"Has the Olympic champion at heavyweight, the undisputed cruiserweight champion not got the dynamite punch? Wow, that's not correct.

"Any fighter, even just at the amateur fights they've just started, can knock a guy out. It's not complicated. What is complicated is to learn your punch properly to the chin and that is boxing skills. I'm quite confident in Usyk, you know," he added.

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