Sports Anthony Joshua must be ruthless against Oleksandr Usyk, warns Eddie Hearn
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk set to go ahead, reports Eddie Hearn
The WBO mandatory challenge is likely in September.Joshua had expected to fight Tyson Fury in August to decide the title of undisputed heavyweight champion, but Fury is now obliged to take on Deontay Wilder.
Eddie Hearn has warned Anthony Joshua that he must be ‘ruthless’ against Oleksandr Usyk if they meet as planned in September.
Joshua had been expected to fight Tyson Fury in August for the chance to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion, but the fight fell through when Fury was obliged to make a trilogy rematch with Deontay Wilder instead.
That development caused the WBO to mandate that Joshua could not delay his challenge from the Ukrainian any longer. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London in September has been widely reported as the plan.
Speaking to, Hearn confirmed: "We have both alerted the WBO, myself and (Usyk's promoter) Alex Krassyuk.
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"Terms are agreed. The offer we made to them has been accepted. We move forward to paper that now. We are going through the contract with their team.
"It is very amicable. They have been partners of ours for a long time. But this is a fight that could derail the career of Joshua if he's not on it, if he's not 100 per cent.
"AJ needs to be ruthless. He needs to show the [ruthlessness of] Derek Chisora with more cuteness and sharpness."
Hearn admitted the encounter is a very interesting one for the man who holds the WBC and WBA titles as well as the WBO editiion.
"Usyk just wants the fight, he wants the opportunity to become heavyweight champion," he said. "[Joshua] loves the fight. We all know it's tricky, we all know it's difficult.
"But what else are we going to do?
"AJ is a throwback fighter and, for years and years, has faced all of the people that [were made his mandatory challengers] Time and time again, AJ has never shirked a challenge.
"And this is a real challenge. Look at the pound-for-pound top-10 list, AJ is not on it. Usyk is.
"AJ wants to make a statement, these are the fights that he likes."
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