London’s calling for Oleksandr Usyk once again, as the former undisputed cruiserweight ruler travels to away territory to contest unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua this weekend.
At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Usyk will be aiming to shake up the division with a seismic victory over home favourite Joshua and become the new heavyweight king.
It’s a familiar venture for the Ukrainian, who has become one of boxing’s greatest road warriors throughout an already illustrious career; previously overcoming a host of top names in their own backyards on his way to cruiserweight dominance.
With a shot at cementing his legacy as one of this generation’s best fighters with a historic success on his latest visit to London, Usyk has his sights set firmly on another successful UK trip.
Ahead of a huge fight night in the English capital, BOXRAW analyse the main event showdown and provide everything you need to know for the entire card.
Everything You Need To Know
Fight: Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk
Date: Saturday, September 25th
Time: Approx. 10PM BST / 05:00 ET
Live On: Sky Sports Box Office in UK/Ireland / DAZN in USA/EU
PPV Cost: £24.99 in UK
Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
Undercard: Lawrence Okolie vs. Dilan Prasovic, Callum Smith vs. Lenin Castillo, Maxim Prodan vs. Florian Marku, Campbell Hatton vs. Sonni Martinez
England, and London in particular, has been host to some of Usyk’s most enjoyable career moments so far and the travelling Ukrainian will be hoping to continue that trend on Saturday night.
It was in the capital that he clinched his 2012 Olympic Gold medal in the heavyweight division, while his imminent opponent Joshua was busy collecting his own Gold at super-heavyweight at the same Games.
After becoming cruiserweight world champion then dominantly reigning as the undisputed king of the 200 pounds division, Usyk made his UK debut by defending his titles against Tony Bellew in 2018.
The defending champion reigned supreme once again in Manchester, handing Bellew a devastating knockout defeat inside eight rounds. Two years later, having moved up to heavyweight, Usyk added Derek Chisora to his growing list of victims with a unanimous decision triumph in London.
That points win over a game but outclassed ‘Del Boy’ followed Usyk’s debut at the new weight; stopping Chazz Witherspoon in seven rounds back in October 2019 on American soil. Meanwhile, ‘AJ’ has been busy rebuilding from his monumental upset at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. and maintaining his grasp on the heavyweight crown.
Just months before Usyk bowed at heavyweight, Joshua made a disastrous American debut, being dropped and stopped by Ruiz at Madison Square Garden. But he recovered later that year with rematch redemption to become a two-time unified champion and maintain his grasp on the heavyweight titles.
After comfortably dispatching Kubrat Pulev in nine rounds and being unable to come to terms with Tyson Fury for a highly-anticipated undisputed clash, it’s a mandatory defence against Usyk next.
Much has been made of the size difference between the champion and challenger, with Usyk jumping up from cruiserweight and being the naturally smaller fighter. It’s his elite technical abilities that will make up for any potential size disadvantages come fight night, though.
A master boxer and a southpaw, the former Olympic Gold medallist and cruiserweight ruler has all the tools in his arsenal to secure a historic heavyweight triumph in London and make a dramatic impact on the division.
With Fury preparing for his trilogy meeting against Deontay Wilder in October, the man to come out on top this weekend will likely line themselves up for a massive undisputed showdown versus the winner of that third clash.
While it’s Joshua that the masses have craved to finally see face off with Fury, Usyk is focused on ripping up the script in London and earning the biggest success of his prestigious career to date.
Header image: Matchroom Boxing