Joshua/Usyk II Heading To Saudi Arabia: Five Boxing Stories You Might Have Missed

It's been another busy week in the world of boxing
10:35, 03 Jun 2022

Anthony Joshua could be set for a return to the Middle East and will have a new face in his corner as he looks to regain the world titles he lost last year, while lightweight hotshot Ryan Garcia faces a tough test in the summer. Here are five boxing stories you might have missed this week. 

Usyk/Joshua II Set For Saudi Arabia 

Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk is set to be staged at Jeddah Super Dome in Saudi Arabia. 

No date has been settled on for AJ’s second tussle with the Ukrainian just yet but management at Jeddah Super Dome have confirmed that it is the preferred venue to host the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight title bout. The state-of-art arena, which can hold up to 40,000 people, previously hosted WWE Elimination Chamber in February. 

Joshua, who lost by unanimous decision against Usyk when the pair met at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year, last fought in Saudi Arabia in December 2019, bouncing back from his only other previous loss to beat Andy Ruiz Jr on the scorecards.

The broadcast deals for the fight are still being finalised, but it's claimed the fight will be on Sky Sports Pay-Per-View in the UK, while DAZN will get international rights. 

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AJ Adds Robert Garcia As New Head Trainer

In other news ahead of Joshua’s rematch with Usyk, the two-time heavyweight champion has hired Robert Garcia, the brother and trainer of Mikey Garcia, to replace Robert McCracken in the Joshua corner.

McCracken had led Joshua to an Olympic gold medal in 2012 and steered his entire professional career up to this point, but the trainer’s work was questioned as Joshua struggled against Usyk last September. 

Garcia, a former super welterweight champion himself, is known for his offensive-focused tactics and has guided 14 boxers to world titles including his brother Mikey, Marcos Maidana, Abner Mares and Brandon Rios. 

Ryan Garcia Set To Face Javier Fortuna In July

Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna are finally set to meet in the ring on July 16th, with a deal agreed to see the two lightweights go head-to-head at Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena. 

The pair were originally set to meet last July, but Garcia stepped away from the sport to focus on his mental health. The undefeated 23-year-old took a 15-month lay-off from the ring, but returned in April to handily beat Emmanuel Tagoe by unanimous decision. 

Garcia was ringside for Gervonta Davis’ knockout win over Rolando Romero in Brooklyn at the weekend and called out ‘Tank’ after the fight. First, however, he must navigate a tough assignment in Fortuna to set up one of the biggest fights in boxing at the end of the year.

"Let me handle business July 16th, I'm going to get Tank," Garcia tweeted on Sunday. "He was screaming the whole fight 'I'm next,' so let it be. December, let's get it."

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WBO Order Charlo Title Defence Against Tszyu

Undisputed super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo has been ordered to defend his WBO title against Tim Tszyu.

Tszyu, son of legendary former light welterweight champion Kostya, had to pull himself from the canvas for the first time in his career on his American debut against Terrel Gausha in March. But the Australian recovered to win on the scorecards and cement his place as the WBO’s number one contender. 

Charlo became undisputed at 154lbs with a 10th round knockout win against Brian Castano in their rematch earlier this month.

Hughie Fury vs Michael Hunter Added To Busy Night In Manchester

World ranked heavyweight Hughie Fury will meet Michael Hunter in a WBA eliminator at the AO Arena on July 2nd.

The bout will act as a stepping stone for a shot at the WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight championship which Trevor Bryan and Daniel Dubois will contest on 11th June.

"I take the fights everyone avoids," Fury said. "Michael Hunter has fought the best and is up there with the best. These are the fights I want to show who is the best fighter out there.

"I'm looking forward to this challenge. I believe I'm one of the best fighters in the world and this is another big fight to prove I stand with the top three in the world heavyweight division."

On the same night and in the same venue, Ricky Hatton will face fellow boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera in an exhibition match.

Betfred's George Kambosos vs Devin Haney Fight Odds*

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