Eddie Hearn confirms target date for Anthony Joshua’s rematch against Usyk

Eddie Hearn has confirmed that they will target March or April for Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk to take place.

'AJ' was defeated in comprehensive fashion by a technical masterclass from Usyk in London, where he grasped the unified world titles.

And he was in bullish mood after his loss, immediately seeking redemption and activating the rematch clause in the contract.

His promoter Hearn has now unveiled a potential date of March or April for the second instalment, with negotiations set to begin this month.

“I think March or April is likely,” Hearn said about when the Joshua – Usyk 2 rematch will occur. “Usyk had a terrible cut; I’m sure they’ll probably get a holiday in as well.

“I’ve got a meeting scheduled to take place with Alex Krassyuk end of October once everything’s settled down. So they’re probably not going to do too much until December, and then and then we’ll start planning.

“I think AJ will definitely fight Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte, and Usyk because he’s consistently fought the top guys, and he will continue to do so. But I think in his mind the only thing he’s really thinking about is Usyk.

Joshua was all set to face his bitter rival Fury this summer, before the clash was derailed with Fury forced to pursue a trilogy with Wilder.

And now he will have to return from deep waters again, just as he did against Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia last year after an initial defeat.

But this time he faces a sizeable task, with Usyk so dominant in their first clash and many having since questioned Joshua's approach.

Will Joshua get his revenge in the rematch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

And his former opponent Whyte ridiculed his tactical approach in London, labelling him a "f****** weirdo".

He told iFL TV : "I'm still a bit baffled to be honest, it was a bizarre performance from Anthony Joshua. But Usyk fought good.

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"I don't know man, I don't know. Joshua is a strange guy, he's a real proper f****** weirdo. Why's he gonna wait to the second fight? He should have been putting the heat on him

"Even at the latter stages, ok you're eight rounds down. You feel like you're down on the scorecards, start having a go. You're the unified heavyweight champion of the world.

"Maybe he wanted to lose and try beat him again to be three-time heavyweight champion, I don't know."

Whyte himself has previously been linked with a professional rematch against Joshua, having defeated him in the amateurs.

Although he believes he could beat 'AJ' now and believes the referee handed the former champion a lifeline for not stopping the contest against Usyk earlier.

"I think Usyk should win by TKO in the last round," Whyte continued. "I thought they gave Joshua way too much time but he just sagged on the ropes and stood there, he didn't do anything. I thought Usyk deserved a TKO victory.

"I was surprised the way the fight went, I picked Joshua to win in seven rounds because I thought he would have enforced his size and pressure, sheer bulk and athleticism but he didn't. He was just reserved."

Joshua now faces an anxious wait until next year, to see if he can rekindle any hope of facing domestic rival Fury, although on Frank Warren's comments it now looks increasingly unlikely in the near future.

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