British boxer Anthony Joshua will put his WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight belts on the line against Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 at Tottenham Stadium in London, he announced in a statement on Tuesday.
"I put everything at stake, it is time to defend my crown," said Joshua, quoted by the promoter of sports events Matchroom Sport.
The two boxers were Olympic champions in London in 2012, Joshua in the super heavyweight category and Usyk in the heavyweight category.
Initially, Joshua was supposed to face fellow countryman Tyson Fury in August in Saudi Arabia in a lucrative unification bout, until a decision by a judge in the United States forced Fury, the category's WBC world champion, to face off for the third time in the American Deontay Wilder for contractual reasons.
The first Fury-Wilder match ended in a draw in December 2018. Fury then won by knockout in the 7th round in February 2020. This weekend he was due to face the American for the third time, but the battle was delayed to October 9 in Las Vegas, after Fury tested positive for COVID-19.
In case of winning again, Fury could fight with Anthony Joshua if the Briton prevails to Usyk. It won't be easy for Joshua, as the Ukrainian has won all 18 of his professional bouts.
"Olympic gold versus Olympic gold, unified heavyweight champion versus undefeated lightweight champion, this match is a must," said Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn.