The heavyweight title rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua is now set for Aug. 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
The fight was originally being planned for July 23, but now Joshua will have nearly 30 more days to work with new trainer Robert Garcia.
When they met last September, Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) dominated Joshua en route to a unanimous decision victory to capture three heavyweight titles. Joshua, 32, quickly exercised the rematch clause, and neither boxer has competed since.
In the meantime, Joshua parted ways with Robert McCracken, the only head trainer he’d ever had in the pros. McCracken also led Joshua to a gold medal in 2012 as the head coach of the Great Britain Olympic boxing team.
Another change for Joshua comes on the broadcast side. The British star has competed exclusively on Sky Sports for the past eight years, but his deal expired after the Usyk bout. Earlier this week, the streaming service DAZN announced Joshua has signed a long-term deal to fight exclusively on its platform.
“I am entering a new phase in my career with a new training environment, new coaches and now a new broadcaster,” said Joshua, ESPN’s No. 4 heavyweight. “Negotiations at this level take time, so I am pleased to have it all wrapped up and now I can fully focus on giving the fans and DAZN what they want — knockouts in the glamour division.”
But it was Usyk, 35, who seemed on the verge of scoring the stoppage in Round 12. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion — and fellow Olympic gold medalist — was living in Ukraine with his family and was there when Russia invaded in February.
In March, Usyk decided to leave the war-torn country so he could prepare for the rematch and the first defense of his three titles.