Matchroom head Eddie Hearn predicted that Anthony Joshua’s mandatory WBO defence against Oleksandr Usyk will go ahead this 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.
That development led the WBO to mandate Joshua must fight Usyk, and negotiations have been ongoing since May. Speaking to the DAZN Boxing Show, Hearn was optimistic.
- JoJo Diaz feels Devin Haney has a chip on his shoulder and has mental advantage going into title fight
- Devin Haney: The boogeyman of the lightweight division
- Tank Davis vs. Isaac Cruz: List of odds, favourites, markets, prediction and betting trends
- Canelo at heavyweight? Fury vs. Usyk? Crawford vs. Spence? What will be boxing's biggest fight in 2022?
“I can tell you that this week, that this is a more confident footing than the Joshua - Fury negotiations, because I know Alex Krassyuk very well, and I know Usyk very well,” he said.
“This week that fight will be signed. We’re looking at September in London. Just finalising the details. It’s a great fight, a dangerous fight, it's not the one we necessarily wanted or expected. But it’s a high level heavyweight fight. It's a unified heavyweight champion against the undisputed cruiserweight champion, and on we go with that fight - it’s a big event.”
Hearn explained that any delay in the fight negotiations was caused by the organisation fallout from the collapse of the planned Fury fight.
“Give AJ the credit. I always bang on the drum that this young man is willing to fight everybody.
“It was more like not having anywhere to breathe. It was terrible timing from the WBO, but they were just doing their job”