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Anthony Joshua removes rematch clause from proposed fight with Dillian Whyte

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Anthony Joshua, according to Manchester Evening News,  has agreed to remove the rematch clause from his contract in order to secure a fight with his rival Dillian Whyte.

Initially, Whyte was the frontrunner to face the former heavyweight boxing champion  on August 12 at The O2 arena, but talks for the highly anticipated domestic clash hit a snag when it was revealed that Whyte hadn’t spoken with Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn in a month.

Whyte insisted on the removal of the rematch clause before signing the contract for the fight. Hearn has now confirmed that they have revised their offer accordingly.

Hearn told Boxing Social (via the Mirror): “The great news is now they have a contract with no rematch clause for August 12. There is absolutely nothing in the contract of any regard that is going to cause any problems, let’s see.

“I don’t think they are going to sign it but I hope they do. AJ wants this fight bad. It’s the fight he wants but we want to announce it on Saturday, so we’ve got 48 hours.

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“I don’t want to put deadlines to start rattling people but the deadline is on us to announce the fight and other opponents who we’ve got ready to go. I know Dillian loves a big fight and it’s here for him, so hopefully he signs.”

Joshua and Whyte have a history dating back to their amateur days over a decade ago. Whyte defeated Joshua then, but AJ avenged the loss in their professional rematch, knocking out Whyte to win the British heavyweight title. Both fighters were unbeaten at the time of their professional clash.

Hearn defended the inclusion of the rematch clause in Whyte’s initial contract, citing Joshua’s upcoming fight against Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia at the end of the year. He stated: “When there is such a huge A-side in the fight, you have to do your job as a promoter. Firstly, any huge name I have worked with in boxing has a rematch clause.

“Secondly, it was me that requested that. AJ is about to fight Wilder for £50 or £60 million, and he is choosing to take a dangerous fight a few months before. If he loses, he is out in the wilderness and loses the Wilder fight in December. If we’re giving that opportunity to someone else, of course, we are going to look for a rematch clause.”

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Boxing

Usyk considering stepping down to cruiserweight after Fury rematch

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Undisputed heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk said he may return to the cruiserweight division following his rematch with British heavyweight Tyson Fury later this year.

Usyk – now the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO champion – defeated Fury by split decision in a thrilling contest at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh to become undisputed heavyweight champion.

The Ukrainian was previously the undisputed cruiserweight champion before moving up to heavyweight in 2019.

“I think maybe after the rematch, I am going to go down in weight to cruiserweight. I want more cruiserweight,” Usyk said in an episode of the ‘3 Knockdown Rule’ podcast released on Wednesday.

“Maybe I can be undisputed for a second time in the cruiserweight division, it’s my plan. When I start to prepare for my training camp (as a heavyweight), I have to eat all the time. For me it’s hard, I don’t like it.”

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Usyk, 37, is the first undisputed heavyweight champion since the end of Lennox Lewis’ reign in April 2000. He will face Fury in a rematch on Dec. 21 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. REUTERS

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Usyk-Fury heavyweight rematch set for Dec. 21 in Saudi Arabia

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The heavyweight rematch between undisputed world champion Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury will take place on Dec. 21 in Saudi Arabia, according to the advisor who organizes boxing events in the kingdom.

Turki Alalshikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, confirmed the date of the fight on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday. He said it will take place in Riyadh, the location of the first fight on May 19.

“The world will watch another historical fight again,” he wrote. “Our commitment to boxing fans continues … We hope you enjoy it.”

Usyk became the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000 when he defeated Fury by split decision, earning a narrow win on two scorecards. The 37-year-old Ukrainian is the first heavyweight to hold every major title belt since Lennox Lewis.

It was Fury’s first loss as a professional.

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-AP

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Boxing

Furious Fury to clash again with Usyk in October

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All hope is not lost for Tyson Fury who lost his WBC heavyweight championship belt to Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia early this Sunday morning.

Both boxer had agreed before the unification bout that the loser of their fight would be eligible to trigger a rematch.

Owing to the two-way rematch clause, there will be a second showdown. As for a date, nothing is set in stone. The hopeful Saudi boxing chief Turki Alalshikh confirmed that a rematch is likely to go ahead on 12th/13th October 2024, not taking into account exceptional circumstances such as injuries or unforeseen events.

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