Usyk retained his WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO Heavyweight Championships against Joshua over the summer. And the heavyweight immediately turned his attention to a unification bout with Tyson Fury, but that bout now looks dead in the water.
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Wilder, 36, returns for the first time since his back-to-back knockout defeats to Tyson Fury when he faces former sparring partner Helenius on October 15. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ considered hanging up his gloves after losing twice to Fury, but announced his return by insisting the heavyweight division needs an American champion to thrive again.
Joshua failed to regain the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles in August when he suffered a second straight decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk, the man who dethroned him last year.
After Usyk beat Anthony Joshua for the second time last month, he was expected to face Fury with all the titles on the line in boxing’s blue-riband division.
Earlier this week, Fury took to social media to publicly offer Joshua a shot at the WBC title, after it was suggested that Oleksandr Usyk does not intend to return to the ring until next year.
On Monday, Fury posted a video on social media proposing a title fight with Joshua, who is coming off last month’s points defeat in his rematch with WBA, WBO, IBF champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Usyk outpointed Anthony Joshua last month to retain his three heavyweight world titles, a result which saw fellow champion Tyson Fury come out of ‘retirement’ to begin negotiations for a super-fight. The clash is expected to take place in February after a date in December was ruled out.
Usyk retained his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO belts after winning his rematch with Anthony Joshua on Saturday.
Joshua put in a much-improved performance from his first defeat to Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 11 months ago
The only belt missing from Usyk’s collection is Fury’s WBC strap, which he has retained despite insisting he is retired
Rather, Joshua, after the result was announced, slammed on the floor two of the four belts and stormed out of the ring
But Joshua’s performance was marred by his post-fight actions when he picked up two of the four belts on offer, slammed them on the canvas and stormed out of the ring in anger
Many, probably the majority of people, viewed his response to defeat as a champion speaking at a time when his pride had been hurt, the belief being that a different decision may be made once he had taken time to reflect on being outclassed by the former unified world cruiserweight champion.
Joshua is set to rematch Ukranian Oleksandr Usyk in Jeddah Saudi Arabia, less than a year after suffering a lopsided unanimous decision defeat to the former cruiserweight in September.
Usyk outboxed Joshua to win a unanimous points decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, but the Brit has indicated that he will try to avoid getting drawn into another technical battle, and will instead go in search of an early finish.
“I wanted to outbox my opponent, whether it was Usyk or anyone else, that was the mindset [in the first fight].
According to ‘The Eraser’, the focus of the camp has been on mixing aggression with composure. ‘AJ’ was criticised for not using his size and strength more in the first fight back in September as he dropped his WBA (super), WBO, and IBF heavyweight titles to the Ukrainian at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
In September, ‘AJ’ dropped his WBA (super), IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles to the Ukrainian on home soil. At the time, he was criticised massively for not using his size and strength enough and is expected to adopt a more aggressive approach for their second bout.
But rumours persist that the WBC champion will consider a comeback to fight the winner of AJ’s rematch with Usyk.
The last time Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua were together in London the former had just handed the latter a punishing 12-round defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to dethrone the champion and take the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.