Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Oleksandr Usyk will get underway on Saturday 25th September 2021. The 31-year-old puts his IBF, WBA, and WBO belts on the line against the Ukrainian, who is his mandatory challenger.

A fight between Joshua and Tyson Fury had previously been scheduled, but ‘The Gypsy King’ was ordered to fight Deontay Wilder for the third time, whilst the WBO told Joshua he must face the mandatory challenger Usyk, before taking on Fury at a later date.

Usyk will be no pushover by any stretch of the imagination though, with the 34-year-old winning all 18 of the fights he’s had in his professional career so far.

The Ukrainian was last in action back in October 2020, when he saw off British heavyweight Derek Chisora, which won him the WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title.

Betting offers

Anthony Joshua to win - 25/1
18+. Play Safe. New customers using EPAJ25. Mobile only. Applies to bets placed from 17:00 on 9th September until 22:30 on 25th September 2021. Max £1 bet at 25/1. Returns paid as 5 x £5 free bets (30 day expiry). Player & currency restrictions & terms apply. Full T&Cs
Anthony Joshua to win in Round 1-6 - 60/1
18+. Play Safe. New customers using EPAJ60. Mobile only. Applies to bets placed from 17:00 on 10th September until 22:30 on 25th September 2021. Max £1 bet at 60/1. Returns paid as 6 x £10 free bets (30 day expiry). Player & currency restrictions & terms apply. Full T&Cs

Odds

  • Anthony Joshua to win @ 1/3 with bet365
  • Oleksandr Usyk to win @ 12/5 with bet365

Fight Outcome

  • Anthony Joshua to win by KO, TKO or Disqualification @ 10/11 with bet365 
  • Anthony Joshua to win by Decision or Technical Decision @ 3/1 with bet365
  • Oleksandr Usyk to win by KO, TKO or Disqualification @ 7/1 with bet365
  • Oleksandr Usyk to win by Decision or Technical Decision @ 4/1 with bet365
  • Draw or Technical Draw @ 20/1 with bet365

Prices are correct as of 3:15pm, 20th September 2021.

Odds are subject to change.

Betting tips

Despite some hard-fought recent fights where he’s been taken the distance, Joshua has shown glimpses of taking out his opponent in the early stages of a fight.

Joshua has won 16 out of his 25 fights within the first six rounds, and you can expect to see a fast start from the 31-year-old once again, although he’ll have to be on his guard against the dangerous Usyk.

Therefore, we’re tipping Joshua to win the fight in Round 5 or Round 6, which is available at 6/1 with William Hill. Alternatively, you can back Joshua to win the fight between Round 1 and Round 6 with William Hill’s special offer, which pays at 60/1 through the link in the Betting Offers section of this page.

Predictions

Joshua outclassed Kubrat Pulev in his last bout, which was the 24th win of his professional career to date, and he’ll fancy his chances of inflicting a first defeat on Usyk this month.

Usyk has moved up a weight class though, which now means he’s set to take on Joshua, who has been hugely impressive in his division.

With just one defeat to his name in his professional bouts, Joshua will be hoping he can make it 25 wins with a positive outcome against the Ukrainian.

The odds suggest that Joshua will edge a win in the fight, although Usyk’s price at 2/1 with bet365 could be a tempting one for some punters, with the 34-year-old already showing his class in previous bouts.

Michael Hunter tasted his only defeat with a points loss against Usyk back in 2017, and felt that Joshua has a tricky test ahead of him this weekend.

“It will be very difficult to actually get a win over Usyk in a certain fashion. Joshua will have to have a concrete game-plan and follow it. It will be a very hard task. If he pulls it off? Give the man credit. Because this style of fighting, for him, is the most difficult.”

Hunter went on to outline some of the attributes that Usyk has to his name, before not being drawn into making a call on who will win the fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday evening.

“Even though he doesn’t focus on hitting hard, he has enough power to absorb and withstand punches. He is bulking up and he is taller than me, he has some length to him. He will do exceptionally well. He hasn’t taken any Ls and hasn’t been in any trouble since he’s been pro. A lot of people are saying he hasn’t performed to the best of his abilities. Against Joshua, he will have to.

“He has done it a few times before, like at the Olympics. He is a Grade-A boxer. Joshua is still learning on the job, going through experiences.

“There is an element of surprise because we don’t know what type of Joshua will come out. We know what type of Usyk will come out, we just don’t know at what level.”

Live stream

It will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office. You can also follow the fight on BBC Radio 5 Live, as well as text commentary, which will be live on the BBC Sport website.

When is it?

As London is hosting the event, UK fans can expect the fight to get underway at around 10.30pm on Saturday 25th September 2021.

Where is it?

The fight is taking place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, with the following matches on the undercard of the event:

  • Lawrence Okolie vs Dilan Prasovic (WBO cruiserweight title)
  • Callum Smith vs Lenin Castillo
  • Campbell Hatton vs Izan Dura
  • Maxim Prodan vs Florian Marku
  • Christopher Ousley vs Khasan Baysangurov

Anthony Joshua – Profile

Joshua rose to fame in the boxing world in 2012, when he won a Gold medal at the London Olympics, and it’s fair to say that he’s never looked back since that success.

Joshua turned professional in July of 2013 when he signed with Matchroom Boxing, and went from strength to strength since that moment. He won nineteen times in the following three years after turning professional and didn’t taste defeat once in that time.

The biggest fight of his career was just around the corner though, when he took on Russian heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium. Joshua won the fight with a technical knockout in the eleventh round. The 31-year-old has only been beaten once, which came in a shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr, which saw him lose his belts in 2019.

But he wasted no time in gaining revenge, as he beat Ruiz Jr in the rematch in Saudi Arabia later that year. Joshua has beaten Carlos Takam, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin also in his career, and he’ll be hoping he can pick up another win against Usyk this weekend.

Oleksandr Usyk – Profile

Usyk turned professional towards the end of 2013, signing a promotional deal with K2 Promotions, which was the same platform that Klitschko brothers rose to fame from.

Usyk started out as a cruiserweight, and impressed during the early stages of his boxing career. His first notable scalp came against Krzysztof Głowacki, when he beat the previously undefeated Polish fighter to earn the WBO cruiserweight title.

He saw off British favourite Tony Bellew back in 2018, in what proved to be Bellew’s final fight of his career. Usyk saw off Derek Chisora in his most recent fight, which came via Unanimous Decision.

What happens next?

It remains to be seen as to whether this will be confirmed, but it’s expected that the winner of this fight will take on one of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, who are set to face off for a third time on Sunday 10th October.

Their first fight ended in a split decision, much to the surprise of some, before Fury produced a dominant display in the second fight to see both fighters now face off for a chance to potentially take on Joshua in the future.

The prospect of having Joshua take on Fury is an exciting prospect, but with Usyk standing in Joshua’s way first, he certainly won’t be looking too far ahead to a potential fight with Fury.