‘Hey Anthony, how are you?’: Oleksandr Usyk begins mind games with Joshua amid impending fight deal


‘Hey Anthony, how are you?’: Oleksandr Usyk uses training video to begin mind games with British rival Joshua as Eddie Hearn reveals agreement for September clash between the Briton and the Ukrainian boxer will be completed next week

Oleksandr Usyk has sent out a message to rival Anthony Joshua after it was confirmed on Tuesday that the pair will meet in a boxing bout this September. 

The Ukrainian fighter will take on the British WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO title holder at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium later this year after Joshua’s fight with Tyson Fury fell through last week after the Gypsy King was told to fight Deontay Wilder this year.

Eddie Hearn confirmed on Tuesday that Joshua will sign a deal this week to fight Usyk, with the hope that the Premier League stadium will be able to host a capacity-crowd by the autumn.

Oleksandr Usyk issued Anthony Joshua with a warning as news emerged over a fight deal

Oleksandr Usyk issued Anthony Joshua with a warning as news emerged over a fight deal

Usyk will face heavyweight boxing icon Joshua in September with a deal set to be signed soon

Usyk will face heavyweight boxing icon Joshua in September with a deal set to be signed soon

Usyk will face heavyweight boxing icon Joshua in September with a deal set to be signed soon

But Usyk began the mind games already on Tuesday, by posting a video of him warming up with a skipping rope, shouting: ‘Hey Anthony, how are you?’

Usyk remains unbeaten in 18 fights as a professional but is relatively inexperienced in the heavyweight division. He beat Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora at heavyweight but Joshua will be a huge step up in quality.

Former Olympic champion Joshua, meanwhile, beat Kubrat Pulev in December last year and has been frustrated on the sidelines ever since, hopeful that a deal with Fury could be struck.

Hearn told DAZN on Tuesday: ‘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.’

Usyk (above) will be hoping to stun Joshua after beating Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora

Usyk (above) will be hoping to stun Joshua after beating Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora

Usyk (above) will be hoping to stun Joshua after beating Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora

Speaking about how close a deal is to arranging the fight between Usyk and Joshua, the Matchroom Boxing promoter added: ‘I can tell you that this week, that this is a more confident footing than the Joshua – Fury negotiations, because I know Alex Krassyuk (Usyk’s promoter) very well, and I know Usyk very well.

‘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.’ 

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn (right) revealed a deal of an Usyk fight will be signed next week

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn (right) revealed a deal of an Usyk fight will be signed next week

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn (right) revealed a deal of an Usyk fight will be signed next week

Hearn also praised his client Joshua for wanting to carry on fighting after not being granted his dream fight with Fury, which would have determined the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world. 

He said: ‘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.’



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