It’s finally here! Anthony Joshua returns to the ring for his eagerly-anticipated match-up against former cruiserweight king and now heavyweight enigma Oleksandr Usyk tonight.
The IBF, WBA and WBO champion puts his belts on the line against the undefeated Ukrainian, who will fight for the third time at heavyweight, after defeating Chazz Witherspoon and most recently Derek Chisora.
Joshua put in a scintillating performance in his previous outing against the ever-tough Kubrat Pulev, mixing his new back-foot style with the old hard-hitting, spiteful puncher we’d previously become accustomed to as he claimed a ninth-round stoppage win.
The 31-year-old had appeared nailed on to take on rival Tyson Fury for the all of the belts in one of, if not the, biggest fight in British history.
But with an American arbitrator ruling Fury must take on Wilder for a third time instead, a bout taking place in two weeks’ time, Joshua now looks to take care of his WBO mandatory challenger.
Though Usyk’s capabilities at heavyweight are still somewhat of an unknown, it’s a match-up that has generated significant interest in what could be a seriously dangerous fight for the Brit.
With the bout swiftly approaching, Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know.
Anthony Joshua put in a destructive performance as he knocked out Kubrat Pulev in December
Oleksandr Usyk defeated Derek Chisora in his second outing in the heavyweight division
When is Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk?
The clash between Joshua and Usyk is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 25 at a full capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Joshua is fighting in London for the second-straight bout, after defeating Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena in December last year.
There is also an abundance of action on the undercard, with the likes of Lawrence Okolie and Callum Smith entering the ring.
How to watch the fight
Fans will be treated to the iconic ‘Sweet Caroline’ from 9.50pm, with the first bell for Joshua vs Usyk set to take place at 10.12pm, according to Sky Sports.
The time of the main event will, of course, depend on the undercard action, which gets underway from 7pm.
Fans will be able to watch the event live on Sky Sports Box Office at a price of £24.95.
For those outside of the UK, the fight will be available to watch on DAZN.
Sportsmail will also be running a live blog, so you can keep up-to-date with us.
Joshua vs Usyk: The key stats
Height: 6ft 6in
Record: 24W, 1L, 0D
Height: 6ft 3in
Record: 18W, 0L, 0D
Fight card in full
Cruiserweight world champion Lawrence Okolie is fighting on the undercard on September 25
- Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk
- Lawrence Okolie vs Dilan Prasovic
- Callum Smith vs Lenin Castillo
- Campbell Hatton vs Izan Dura
- Maxim Prodan vs Florian Marku
- Christopher Ousley vs Khasan Baysangurov
- Daniel Lapin vs Pawel Martyniuk
Joshua vs Usyk weigh-in results
Joshua weighed in at 17st 2lb ahead on Friday afternoon, which was the same weight he was at when he defeated Pulev nine months ago.
He has an advantage of almost a stone-and-a-half over his undefeated challenger. At 15st 11lb, Ukraine’s former undisputed cruiserweight champion will be at his heaviest ever.
It’s an increase on the 199.5lbs from his debut at heavyweight and the 217lbs for his triumph over Derek Chisora.
The weigh-in went without incident with both fighters flexing their muscles for the small crowd
Joshua, who once again boasted a slim physique, insisted he can win either by stoppage or by out-boxing his opponent.
‘I can out-box him, of course I can,’ Joshua told Sky Sports. ‘And I can out-strength him.
‘You have to have a bit of aggression, boxing skill, head movement. There is not just one factor that determines a fight.
‘Obviously we have our go-to, our strength. I will use my strengths.
‘But it’s called a boxing match for a reason. I love the sweet science. I will display my boxing skills, but I won’t make it too complicated in there.’
Joshua vs Usyk: The odds
After putting in back-to-back stunning, and varied, performances against Andy Ruiz Jr and Pulev, it comes as no surprise that Joshua is the favourite to prevail – regardless of Usyk’s prowess.
Joshua looks to have taken his shock defeat to Ruiz in his stride, shedding an abundance of unnecessary bulk and adopting a more cautious but clinical style.
In Usyk, he faces a highly skilled southpaw with a phenomenal amateur career and largely unparalleled credentials at cruiserweight.
Joshua comes into the fight as favourite after his scintillating performance against Pulev
Simply put, this no walk in the park for Joshua. But his height, power and skill make him the favourite nonetheless.
Joshua comes in as the 4/9 favourite to get the win, while Usyk is the underdog at 21/10. Meanwhile, a draw is at 18/1.
*Odds as per Betfair and correct at the time of publication.