By: Sean Crose
“We hope that we will sign the contract by the end of the week,” Alexander Krassyuk, the promoter of former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk tells Sky Sports. “Most of the issues have been coordinated and agreed.” If what Krassyuk is saying is true, then Usyk is on the verge of facing WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua in September. Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn is reportedly looking to hold the fight at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which seats over sixty thousand people. “We’re looking at September in London,” Hearn has told DAZN. “Just finalizing the details. It’s a great fight, a dangerous fight, it’s not the one we necessarily wanted or expected. But it’s a high level heavyweight fight.”
Joshua was expected to engage in a heavyweight superbout against fellow Englishman Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia, but that bout famously fell through when an American arbiter ruled Fury must once again face former WBC titlist Deontay Wilder, who Fury has already drawn and stopped respectively on two occasions. Amidst the smoldering ruins of that would-be battle, the WBO ruled that Joshua would next have to fight former cruiserweight king Usyk. It will frankly be no walk in the park for Joshua. Although Usyk has had to move up in weight to compete at heavyweight, he’s proven himself to be a walking skill set throughout his ring career.
“Usyk’s confidence is at sky level,” says Krassyuk. “He is so thirsty to become the champ at heavyweight – then proceed to travelling to Mars after he collects all the belts!” Ukrainian power player Usyk has fought once at heavyweight, beating well known veteran Derek Chisora. Now he stands in the way of not only destroying Joshua’s plans of eventually becoming undisputed heavyweight champion, but of elevating his own already impressive career. At 18-0, Usyk has never tasted defeat. “This is a fight that could derail the career of Joshua if he’s not on it,” Hearn tells Sky Sports in classic promoter’s fashion, “if he’s not 100 per cent.”
Soon all there may be left for Hearn and Karssyuk to do is sell the bout as they let their fighters do what they do best. “Terms are agreed. The offer we made to them has been accepted,” Hearn tells Sky Sports. “We move forward to paper that now. We are going through the contract with their team.” Needless to say, Hearn is happy with how the negotiations have progressed. “It is very amicable,” he says. “They (Usyk’s team) have been partners of ours for a long time.”