Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk’s world heavyweight title rematch finally has a venue in the Jeddah Super Dome.
The 40,000-capacity venue has hosted a WWE pay-per-view event already, and management have told Sky Sports that they expect to be named the host for their first major boxing event. The largest geodesic dome in the world to ever stand without pillars, Jeddah Super Dome is an indoor venue, which is necessary in the Saudi Arabian summer heat.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn expects to make an announcement about the fight within the coming days, despite reports of a possible delay to proceedings. Management for the venue are planning for a July 23 fight night, but reports indicate that it could be pushed back a further few weeks into the middle of August.
The WBO, IBF and WBA super titles will all be on the line, as well as the less sought-after IBO belt as Joshua looks to become a three-time world heavyweight champion. Usyk comfortably won their first meeting in September last year, taking the victory by unanimous decision to become one of just three men to become cruiserweight and heavyweight champion.
Usyk’s feat was made all the more impressive by having been undisputed at the lighter weight before moving up and beating Joshua within three fights. The other belt at heavyweight is currently held by Tyson Fury, who claims to be retired, but has yet to be stripped of his WBC belt.
Joshua is said to have brought in a new trainer in Robert Garcia after splitting with Rob McCracken following the loss. It was his second in four fights, and a much more difficult result to come back from than the shock stoppage he suffered at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr back in June of 2019.
Usyk has never fought in Saudi Arabia, while Joshua has experience in the region having taken his belts back from Ruiz there in December of 2019. It is expected that Garcia will travel to the UK to work with Joshua, though a move to America hasn’t been ruled out either.
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Promoter Eddie Hearn told iFL TV on Monday that the venue and date were all but done, but the Telegraph later reported that there would be a delay taking it to mid-August. “We have agreed to a deal for the site, and the working date of July 23,” Hearn said.
“We are pretty much ready to announce. When you question about whether there will be a delay. If there is you’re talking about two weeks, and it’s for no other reason than time to make sure we can promote the fight in the right way.
“The fight is happening, the fight is agreed in terms of where it will take place and both sides have agreed, both sides have agreed to the deal, both sides have agreed to everything.”