The world heavyweight title showdown between Anthony Joshua and mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk has been confirmed for September 25, with the Brit boxer scaling the heights of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the announcement.
“Look at this amazing stadium. On the 25th September this place will be rocking,” said WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF champion Joshua from atop the stadium where he will face his Ukrainian challenger later this year.
“I can’t wait, I’m going to be defending my heavyweight championship belts. Let’s go. Let’s get it on. Imagine, 60,000-80,000 people in there making this place bounce.”
“September 25th I will step down from my throne to engage in battle,” added the 31-year-old in the caption to the clip after ascending almost 50 meters above pitch level at the venue.
The news confirms a showdown which was widely expected after Joshua’s planned Battle of Britain with WBC king Tyson Fury fell through earlier this year when Fury was ordered by an arbitrator to meet former foe Deontay Wilder in a trilogy.
Instead, London fighter Joshua will face mandatory WBO challenger Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight king who has won both his fights since stepping up to the heavyweight ranks.
Both men are Olympic gold medalists, with Usyk winning the heavyweight title in London in 2012 – the same Games where Joshua earned gold in the super-heavyweight category on home soil.
Joshua’s sole blemish in 25 fights since turning professional remains his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in New York in June of 2019 – a loss he later avenged with victory over the Mexican-American in Saudi Arabia.
Usyk is unbeaten in 18 professional bouts, having last seen off Derek Chisora via unanimous decision in London last October – a bout which Joshua watched from the front row.
“I’m coming for you!” wrote the 34-year-old Usyk ominously on his social media accounts after the fight was confirmed.
Matchroom boxing promoter Eddie Hearn boasted that the bout would be “Olympic Gold v Olympic Gold.”
Meanwhile, the event will also be a boost for Premier League club Tottenham as the first boxing event at their new home.
“This is a huge occasion for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium,” said club chairman Daniel Levy.
“Anthony Joshua is an icon in the world of sport and to have him fight here in London N17, against a top opponent in Oleksandr Usyk, will be amazing for the area of Tottenham.
“This event will once again showcase the stadium’s ability to take the hosting of world-class sporting occasions to the next level – we cannot wait for September 25.”