‘Hey Anthony, how are you?’: Oleksandr Usyk uses training video to start mind games with British rival Joshua, as Eddie Hearn reveals September clash deal between Briton and Ukrainian boxer will be finalized next week
Oleksandr Usyk has sent a message to rival Anthony Joshua after it was confirmed on Tuesday that the pair will meet in a boxing match in September.
The Ukrainian fighter will take on the British WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO title holder at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium later this year after Joshua’s fight with Tyson Fury fell through last week after the Gypsy King was told he would be up against this year. Deontay Wilder had to fight.
Eddie Hearn confirmed on Tuesday that Joshua will sign a deal this week to fight Usyk in the hopes the Premier League stadium will be able to host a capacity crowd in the fall.
Oleksandr Usyk gave Anthony Joshua a warning when news broke of a fighting deal
Usyk will face heavyweight boxing icon Joshua in September with a deal to be signed soon
But Usyk started the thinking games on Tuesday, posting a video of him warming up with a skipping rope, yelling, “Hey Anthony, how are you?”
As a professional, Usyk remains undefeated in 18 fights but is relatively inexperienced in the heavyweight division. He beat Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora in heavyweight, but Joshua will be a huge step up in quality.
Former Olympic champion Joshua, meanwhile, defeated Kubrat Pulev last December and has been frustrated on the sidelines ever since, hoping a deal can be struck with Fury.
Hearn told DAZN on Tuesday: “It’s a high-level heavyweight fight. It’s a unified heavyweight champion against the undisputed cruiserweight champion, and we’re moving on with that fight – it’s a big event.”
Usyk (above) hopes to stun Joshua after beating Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora
Speaking about how close a deal is to settling the fight between Usyk and Joshua, the Matchroom Boxing promoter added: “I can tell you this week that this is a more confident base than the Joshua-Fury negotiations, because I Alex Krassyuk ken. (Usyk’s promoter) very well, and I know Usyk very well.
That battle will be signed this week. We’re looking at September in London. Just finishing up the details.
“It’s a great fight, a dangerous fight, it’s not the fight we necessarily wanted or expected.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn (right) revealed a Usyk fight deal will be signed next week
Hearn also praised his client Joshua for wanting to fight on after failing to land his dream fight with Fury, which would have determined the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
He said, ‘Give AJ credit. I always beat the drum that this young man is ready to fight against anyone.
“It was more like I couldn’t breathe anywhere. It was terrible timing from the WBO, but they were just doing their job.”