ANTHONY JOSHUA has activated his rematch clause to fight Oleksandr Usyk in 2022, the Ukrainian’s team have announced.
The 31-year-old is bidding to become a three-time heavyweight world champion after losing against The Cat on Saturday night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Joshua revealed immediately after the 12-round war that he was keen to get it on again after being outclassed on home soil.
And now Usyk‘s promoter Alexander Krassyuk has appeared to confirm that the rematch between the pair has been ‘activated in principle’.
Speaking at a press conference, he said: “The rematch was specified in the contract.
“It has already been activated in principle, from the side of Joshua.
“So I remember when we discussed with Oleksandr the issue of rematch, he was delighted and said ‘Wow, cool, I will beat Antokha (Anthony) twice.'”
Eddie Hearn recently revealed that the second meeting between Joshua and Usyk is likely to take place in the UK again as he ruled out a fight taking place in Ukraine.
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS
The Matchroom Boxing chief said: “We will work together to maximise (the income), Ukraine is very unlikely.
“I think it will be international or the UK, I would think it would be in the UK.”
But Usyk is keen to defend his new straps at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, as he remarked: “How does Hearn know that in February at Olympic stadium it is bad to box?
“Has he ever fought in February at the Olympic?”
Hearn has declared that the rematch will be different from Saturday’s one-sided affair as he stated that AJ will look to ‘hurt’ Usyk in the upcoming battle.
He told iFL TV: “This rematch, whether you think AJ can win or not, I’m telling you, it will be entirely different and write him off at your peril.
“You’ll see a different Anthony Joshua in this fight, and that’s our excitement. The disappointment of defeat and now revenge.
“We’ve been here before, and now a three-time heavyweight world champion. That’s the new dream. He’ll do his work.
“Now, I’m excited because that rematch is going to happen early next year, and if he does it, which I believe he can, he’s on a whole new level.
“This game plan is not box and move, this plan is to go in and hurt Usyk.”