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Eddie Hearn casts doubt over Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk rematch on July 23 should there be one more delay

EDDIE HEARN has admitted that one more delay to the Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk rematch could spell a problem.

The 35-year-old Ukraine icon dethroned AJ, 32, back in September in Tottenham – with a Saudi Arabia rematch agreed almost instantly.

Anthony Joshua is preparing for his rematch against unbeaten Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk
Usyk beat Joshua in September to rip away his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts

But we are just nine weeks out from the targeted July 23 rerun date and there has been no official announcement, media tour or venue confirmed.

And the Matchroom boss admits that unless the mega-money showdown is signed-off next week the bout could be delayed.

Hearn explained: “There is not a problem now but if it is not announced next week then it could be put back a week or two. 

“The fight is definitely happening, the 23rd is the date that everyone has agreed on and everyone is fine with. If we agree next week then everything is fine.

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Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is hopeful the rematch will take place on July 23

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“The date of the fight and the time to train are not the problems, it is more about the extra obligations of TV, press conferences and promotion.

“Eight weeks out feels OK but once you get down to seven and six, it’s a problem.

“Both fighters know that if we have to do a media tour then it needs to happen in the next 10-14 days. Beyond that we will have to move it back a week or two.

“If we go July 23 then we are nine weeks away and we need to announce next week, it has to be next week.

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“They will want us to do a media tour, we would have to go to the Middle East and London, maybe even New York, so we really need to announce next week.”

Joshua ditched Team GB mentor Rob McCracken after the unanimous points loss and has moved from Sheffield to Loughborough to work with his assistant trainer Angel Fernandez.

Hearn had previously claimed that Joshua was shaking up his training base and backroom staff in essential a bid to get out of his comfort zone and get rough-and-ready for the must-win rematch.

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But he has defended the surprising decision to stick to his untested Spanish trainer and surround himself with stablemates, with a more experienced extra trainer still expected to arrive from the US.

He said: “Loughborough is very different because Sheffield is the hub of British boxing, there are no other fighters in Loughborough apart from the few that Angel Fernandez trains.

“In Sheffield there are 40-50 fighters and every time AJ walks into the gym everyone is excited.

“He grew up there, has his pictures on the walls and is worshipped there, so he is in a very different environment at Loughborough. It is much more lowkey for him.

The tale of the tape ahead of Usyk’s rematch against Joshua

“I would expect he will bring in a new set of eyes for this camp, he will announce that himself.

“He is training with Angel who he trusts but he also understands that you can benefit from bringing someone else into the camp.”

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