Should it take place in England instead of Middle East?

By Charles Brun: Gareth A. Davies is one of the many fans who feel the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk rematch should take place in London rather than in the Middle East.

Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk revealed on Monday that discussions have begun about staging the rematch with Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) in Saudi Arabia in late June.

Staging the Joshua-Usyk 2 rematch in Saudi Arabia gives both fighters the chance to maximize their purses, which you would argue is more important for the 35-year-old Usyk than it would be for the fabulously rich Joshua.

Usyk is older than Joshua, and it makes sense for him to pick a location for the rematch that would bring him as much money as possible.

Joshua’s net with is approximately $80 million, so one can understand why it would less of an issue for him to potentially take less money.

For the many boxing fans that have no intention of traveling to see the rematch between Joshua and Usyk in person, it’s less important to them whether it takes place.

The Joshua-Usyk II rematch can take place on Neptune or Jupiter, as far as the majority of the fans are concerned.

Obviously, it’s important for Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn that the rematch be staged once again in the UK because we’ve seen how AJ performs when he’s in an alien environment and not being cheered constantly by his fans.

Joshua looked utterly spaced out when he stepped into the ring in his disastrous US debut at Madison Square Garden in New York against Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019.

Without his fans madly cheering him, Joshua looked out to lunch inside the ring with Ruiz on the night in New York.

“[Saudi Arabia] is under discussion at the moment. Late June is also the timing we are considering now,” Krassyuk said to Sky Sports News on a potential location for the Joshua vs. Usyk rematch.

Should Joshua-Usyk 2 take place in the UK?

“I don’t think it will. Obviously, there are massive offers being tabled,” said Gareth A. Davies to TalkSport Boxing about whether the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk 2 rematch will take place in Saudi Arabia in late June.

“Joshua fought there in his rematch with Andy Ruiz when he was scuppered in New York on his US debut,” Davies continued. “They went to Diriyah [in Saudi Arabia]didn’t they?

“And, I thought he [Joshua] was brilliant that night, and he got paid $50 million as the challenger for the belts, became a two-time heavyweight world champion.

“I just think for all the right reasons, They should be in a stadium here in Wembley or in Tottenhambut now for the wrong reasons [elsewhere],” said Davies on the Joshua – Usyk rematch.

“I think $40 million for him [Joshua] And $20 million for Usyk, something like that,” Davies said when asked how much money Joshua and Usyk can be expected to make if they elect to battle in the UK instead of in Saudi Arabia.

“This isn’t just a boxing match anymore. This isn’t just a heavyweight championship of the world for three belts,” Davies said of the Joshua vs. Usyk II second fight.

“This is a moment in history, this could be one of the biggest fights in history for the simple reason that the leverage around it is built around the anthem of Ukraine being played and the flag being raised and that there’s a lot of political writing around it and a lot of news other than sport. It’s bigger than sports.

“Not really,” said Davies when asked if the Usyk rematch is a ‘bloody nightmare for Joshua.’ “I think it’s great for him because part of his legacy is the involvement if he’s thinking clearly. Half of them will be Ukrainian in there,” Davies said about the crowd that would be in attendance for the Joshua-Usyk 2 rematch in Saudi Arabia.

“Usyk won’t take it [to Saudi Arabia]in my opinion. I asked Vitali and Wladimir [Klitschko]should Oleksandr Usyk go now? [leave Ukraine during the war]. Would it be a worthy thing to do? Would they have been able to do it if they were younger in their boxing careers?

“There’s no way Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv would have left. He’s a fighter in the true sense of the word. He would have stayed in Kyiv. That’s what he was saying at the end.

“Also, in the entire build-up to the fight, I can just see it already, I’m visualizing press week where and they’re [Oleksandr] Usyk, and a lot of the questions they’re tabling are about what it’s like [in Russian war]and why he wants to leave Ukraine at the moment and not serve in the territorial forces, what bigger picture can he create?

“I think it’ll create global news if it happens [Usyk coming out of the war in Ukraine to battle Joshua]but like we’re saying, let’s give it the right platform and the right place.

“The finger is on the pulse in this city [London, England], it’s one of the big news and media cities in the world. Let them come here,” said Davies on why he feels the rematch between Joshua and Usyk should return to the UK to take place in London rather than in the Middle East in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua is in a terrible situation

“It’s very challenging for Anthony Joshua because not only does he need to fight a man that pretty much took him to school,” said Simon Jordan.

“Even though we make the argument that he fought the wrong fight, we’ve now got a man [Usyk] imbued with even more confidence than he did in the first fight, with a nation [Ukraine] behind him, with the world behind him because of the circumstances,” Jordan continued.

“So, Joshua is in a terrible situation. If he wins, there are going to be people that are going to be quite sad that a Ukrainian fighter has lost. So he’s really in this invidious position, but the bottom line is, this fight elevates a whole raft of other issues.

“Whether you believe and some people don’t, the sport needs to elevate certain things, it is part and parcel of today’s fabric. It does. So we are.

“We have a fight of this magnitude and it cannot be fought in an environment like the Middle East. It just can’t. It’s fundamentally wrong across the board,” said Jordan.


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