Hearn-Matchroom Announce Anthony Joshua “Lifetime Deal”
With anticipation building towards the Unified Heavyweight title fight Saturday night North of London between champ Anthony Joshua and former Undisputed Cruiserweight World champ Oleksandr Usyk, Matchroom Boxing made news Tuesday by announcing the have agreed to a “lifetime” new contract with the British superstar.
Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn made the declaration on social media Tuesday afternoon and they had a promo video ready to go,
🎥 Plenty more chapters 📚 @anthonyjoshua
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) September 21, 2021
While none of this is a surprise, as Hearn and Matchroom have handled his career since he turned pro in 2013, the agreement means big dollars potentially for the promotional outlets immediate future. That’s provided that Joshua continues to win.
Therein lies the challenge beginning with Saturday night’s defense of his WBA, IBF and WBO World titles against the stiff challenge from the Ukrainian, who has moved up to Heavyweight to try to derail him.
Joshua, 24-1, was last in the ring, when he fought and kayoed IBF #1 contender, Kubrat Pulev in December at the Wembley Arena in front of limited fans. Saturday night is anticipated to have the largest crowd for any sport in the U.K. (65,000+), since the Covid 19 pandemic began. This bout is scheduled for the newly renovated, state of the art, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
As for Usyk, he’s 18-0 was last in action in that same Wembley Arena, with no fans, last October decisioning English veteran, Dereck Chisora. That was the unbeaten Ukranian’s second bout at Heavyweight and were both easy. The former Ukrainian Olympic Gold Medalist (like Joshua for England) and Undisputed Cruiserweight champ and his team arrived in England on Monday morning,
— Alexander Usyk (@usykaa) September 20, 2021
The WBO had threatened Joshua with potentially stripping him of their world title, if he did not fight Usyk as this year progressed. He’s been their mandatory challenger for over 18 months waiting for the opportunity at the Brit.
Tickets went on sale back in early August for Saturday night’s bout , Matchroom announced that Joshua-Usyk had sold out the home of Premier League soccer ‘Spurs stadium in only a couple of days.
Needless to say, there is intrigue and momentum for the bout, and Joshua is clearly Matchroom’s prized fighter to promote. Now, we wait to see if Usyk can do what American Andy Ruiz did in June of 2019 and that’s stun the previously unbeaten Joshua and derail his plans of an Undisputed Title reign.
Joshua got his belts back from Ruiz on a revenge decision six months later, but has only had the Pulev fight, since that time.
For his part Usyk, has been inactive for 11 months and may only be “AJ’s” next victim coming up.
We are about to find out.