Boxing-Usyk to prepare for Joshua rematch after gaining permission to leave Ukraine-ESPN

FILE PHOTO: WBA, IBF & WBO Heavyweight Titles - Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk
FILE PHOTO: Boxing - WBA, IBF & WBO Heavyweight Titles - Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - September 25, 2021 Oleksandr Usyk celebrates winning his fight against Anthony Joshua Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

March 23, 2022

(Reuters) – Ukraine’s heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk will prepare for his rematch with Briton Anthony Joshua, ESPN reported on Tuesday, after he received permission to leave his country and train.

The 35-year-old former undisputed cruiserweight world champion dethroned heavyweight champion Joshua in front of a sell-out crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he returned to Kyiv to join a territorial defence battalion, stating that he did not know when we would be stepping back into the ring.

ESPN reported that a fight between the two would take place this summer, however, after the Ukrainian sports minister offered Usyk permission to leave the country.

Ukrainian rules bar men aged 18-60, who could be conscripted, from leaving the country.

Promoter Matchroom Boxing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.

Western countries that have imposed financial and corporate sanctions in response.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Toby Davis)