Coming up Saturday night in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the unified heavyweight title rematch between unbeaten champion Oleksandr Usyk and former three belt holder Anthony Joshua will take place. And, Tuesday afternoon, we got a look inside the indoor facility that will host the scheduled 12 round battle.
Sky Sports, who will broadcast Usyk-Joshua II on pay per view in the U.K. Saturday night, took fans inside King Abdullah Sports City “Sports Hall” arena here,
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) August 16, 2022
As you can see in the video, the indoor venue inside the massive “Jeddah Dome” complex is much more intimate for Saturday’s rematch than the first Usyk-Joshua bout in England’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September. That football (soccer) venue had over 60,000 seats in the outdoor setting, as Usyk upset Joshua by unanimous decision to take the WBA/IBF and WBO world titles.
The KASC “Sports Hall” or arena seats approximately 10,000 for boxing and would be similar to a smaller basketball or hockey arena in the United States. And, obviously, the fewer seats and intimate setting mean that prices for the Usyk-Joshua rematch have remained high on the secondary market and there will be quite an atmosphere inside Saturday night.
This will also be a completely different venue than Joshua’s previous title fight in Saudi Arabia. He defeated American Andy Ruiz in their rematch in December 2019 in Diriyah, a small city outside of the capital of Riyadh, in a three sided, 15,000 seat facility that was temporarily constructed outdoors for the bout.
The Ukrainian Usyk is a former Olympic champion, as well as the former Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion. He stands at 19-0, 13 KOs with the signature win being that impressive, upset decision over Joshua in his backyard.
As for the Brit Joshua, he comes to the Middle East with his career on the line, again. even though he’s 24-2, 22 KOs, he’s lost two of his last four fights. And, a third loss in five bouts on Saturday night would spell doom in the short term for his marketability and future prospects in 2023 and beyond.