– Unified Heavyweight Champion Oleksandr Usyk Has Signed With Saudi Arabia’s Skills Challenge Entertainment
– Usyk Blasts People Who Have Never Boxed Themselves From Criticising Anthony Joshua
Unified WBA, IBF, and WBO Heavyweight champion, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk has officially signed with Saudi Arabia’s Skills Challenge Entertainment, the company has today announced.
Usyk’s signing with Skills Challenge will not see his next fight against Daniel Dubois be hosted in the territory but future fights with WBC Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former champion Deontay Wilder will land in the Kingdom.
After winning Olympic gold, the Ukrainian unified the cruiserweight division through the world boxing super series, winning the undisputed title in 2018.
He then signed a 3-fight deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing that saw him gain notoriety in the UK and the US, headlining on DAZN stateside and two UK PPVs on Sky Sports Box Office against Tony Bellew and Derek Chisora respectively.
Usyk had to wait for his Heavyweight shot as months of negotiations commenced for Fury-Joshua but after they fell through, Usyk finally got his chance and convincingly upset Anthony Joshua claiming three belts in Sep 2021.
Prince Khaled/Saudi Arabia staged the Usyk-Joshua rematch eleven months later and it was the same result. Saudi now wants to do the Undisputed Heavyweight title and they have secured the first step in doing so.
WBC champion Fury is the second, and much more difficult, half of the fight to lock in. But with talks to face Joshua in September ending before they even started, all roads lead to the Undisputed Heavyweight championship in December.
Oleksandr Usyk On Anthony Joshua
In an interview conducted with Boxing King Media, Usyk (through a translator) passionately defended his former opponent Joshua from the consistent criticism he has received since his back-to-back losses to the Ukrainian maestro.
“I think he just needs a little more time to recover, Usyk told Boxing King Media, “He’s a great fighter and a great personality and who are those people that judge him? Have they ever entered the ring? Have they ever trained and felt that pain? They have no right to say so.”
“If you want to talk about a fighter, you have to at least once in your life get into the ring and get a sparring session at least for one round for 3 minutes, then you will have the right.”
Fans and respected journalists alike have piled on in the criticism of the British superstar with one reporter even suggesting that “The bravest thing Anthony Joshua can do is retire from boxing” in a heavily controversial article.
Usyk doesn’t believe that the supporters of the sport and those that cover it have any right to tell AJ what he should do in his career as they have never experienced the pain of training, fighting, and losing.
Skills Challenge’s new signing believes that with more time to recover, Joshua can get back to the top of his game.
The sport in this country is far more mainstream and successful with the presence of a man who has single-handedly filled stadiums and bought the country to a standstill every time he enters the squared circle.
Boxing Prospers Better With Anthony Joshua In It