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Eddie Hearn expects Anthony Joshua to fight Oleksandr Usyk despite Ukraine war

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Usyk returned to Ukraine last month after Russian president Vladimir Putin declared war on the country, but Hearn is confident he will still rematch Joshua

Eddie Hearn is confident Anthony Joshua’s world title fight with Oleksandr Usyk will take place in June despite the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Hearn revealed the news during an Instagram live session. The rematch was put in jeopardy after Usyk bravely returned to his native Ukraine to help defend the country against ongoing attacks from Russia.

Usyk is one of several Ukrainian fighters who have ditched their respective sports to fight on the frontline. Over three million refugees have fled Ukraine through its western border whilst more than 20,000 civilians have been feared dead in the city of Mariupol.

Joshua has been expected to rematch Usyk ever since he lost his heavyweight belts to the former cruiserweight king last September. The Brit will look to become just the sixth three-time heavyweight champion in history by avenging his loss to Usyk.

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Joshua recently said he will fight again “soon” but didn’t confirm whether it will be against Usyk, stating: “When’s the next fight? It’s actually happening soon. I don’t wanna say too much, but yeah, the fight’s happening soon. I pray it’s the rematch. I won’t fight anybody outside of the top ten.”

Usyk will seemingly be given a chance to leave Ukraine and defend his heavyweight titles, as Bob Arum revealed Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko will be allowed to leave the country for a potential clash with lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr.

“The Ukrainian government, which is tremendous, are co-operating with us as far as Lomachenko and also Usyk. They realise there’s tremendous publicity value in having them come out, train and participate in title fights,”

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