Saudi Arabia in contention to stage Anthony Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk rematch

Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk said Saudi Arabia was ‘the place we are in discussions with at the moment’.

Saudi Arabia in contention to stage Anthony Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk rematch

Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk has revealed Saudi Arabia could stage the Ukrainian’s world heavyweight title rematch against Anthony Joshua.

Usyk conclusively outpointed Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to claim the WBA, IBF and WBO belts and a return bout is now expected to take place this summer.

While an outdoor stadium in London was thought to be the preferred option, Krassyuk has indicated the frontrunner is now Saudi Arabia, which continues to face scrutiny over its human rights record.

Joshua was criticised for fighting there when he regained his world titles by defeating Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019, with Saudi Arabia accused of attempting to ‘sportswash’ its international reputation.

“Saudi is the place we are in discussions with at the moment,” Krassyuk told BBC Sport. “Late June is the date we are looking at. Nothing has been confirmed on paper. We are working on it.

“There are other options, but we take it step by step.”

Another fight between the pair was pencilled in for the spring, but that was put on hold as Usyk returned to Ukraine to enlist in the military amid Russia’s invasion.

However, last week he signalled his intention to begin training, writing on Instagram: “I decided to start preparing for a rematch with Anthony Joshua.”

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