Oleksandr Usyk named mandatory challenger to Joshua vs Ruiz Jr winner

Anthony Joshua will be forced to face unbeaten Oleksandr Usyk if he emerges victorious from Andy Ruiz Jr rematch as WBO confirm Ukrainian as mandatory challenger

  • The winner of Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr will next face Oleksandr Usyk
  • The WBO has named the Ukrainian fighter as their mandatory challenger
  • Joshua lost his heavyweight titles in a shock defeat to Ruiz Jr earlier in June
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The WBO has named Oleksandr Usyk as the mandatory challenger to the winner of the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.

The heavyweight rematch, which is thought to be taking place later this year, is a shot at redemption for Joshua, who was humbled by the surprise winner Ruiz Jr on June 1. 

Whoever wins will have to face the Ukrainian Usyk, who once held all four world titles at cruiserweight level. 

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk has been named mandatory challenger by the WBO

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Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk has been named mandatory challenger by the WBO

He will fight either Andy Ruiz Jr, or Anthony Joshua who suffered a surprise defeat this month

He will fight either Andy Ruiz Jr, or Anthony Joshua who suffered a surprise defeat this month

He will fight either Andy Ruiz Jr, or Anthony Joshua who suffered a surprise defeat this month

The British fighter lost his world heavyweight titles to the Mexican Ruiz Jr in a stunning defeat. 

His promoter Eddie Hearn has activated a clause in the contract to enforce an immediate rematch, which will be held in either November or December.

The Joshua camp are currently targeting Madison Square Garden in New York, where he fell to his shock defeat, as the venue.

However, Ruiz Jr is confident over any rematch. Despite being an outsider for the first match, he said that Joshua is ‘not good at boxing.’

Andy Ruiz Jr is confident about the rematch later this year saying Joshua is 'not good at boxing'
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Andy Ruiz Jr is confident about the rematch later this year saying Joshua is 'not good at boxing'

Andy Ruiz Jr is confident about the rematch later this year saying Joshua is ‘not good at boxing’

In the aftermath, he said: ‘I know his flaws. I can do a lot better. The only thing that he can do is just run around.’ 

Usyk stepping up from the cruiserweight division as WBO champion has thrown another spanner in the works for Anthony Joshua, who had previously been trying to secure a fight with Deontay Wilder. 

Usyk knocked out Tony Bellew in November in his final match in the cruiserweight division. 

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He has now won all 16 of his professional fights, with 12 wins coming by knockout. 

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