With just 16 days to go until the blockbuster heavyweight rematch between Usyk and Joshua, it has been revealed that the event will be free to watch for people in Ukraine.
Usyk will be looking to defend his WBA, IBF and WBO belts in Saudi Arabia during the August 20 showdown.
The duo first entered the ring last September, when Usyk put on a masterful display over 12 rounds to sway the judges and claim the belts in London.
Now, 11 months on, the pair will meet again for a fight billed the ‘Rage on the Red Sea.’
Having lost his beloved belts to Usyk, Joshua was keen to book the rematch straight away, but the fight was delayed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – Usyk’s home country.
Just months after becoming the heavyweight champion of the world, Usyk dropped his boxing gloves and signed up to join his local territorial defence force in Kyiv. The 35-year-old was eventually persuaded to leave and resume his training for the AJ rematch.
However, the war in Ukraine has continued, and with Usyk wanting to provide his compatriots a source of joy and pride, the former cruiserweight has decided to air the rematch for free in his home country.
The fight’s television rights were sold to the Saudi Arabia organisers as part of the deal to organise the rematch, but Usyk was keen to buy the rights himself in order to air it to Ukraine for free.
But upon hearing about Usyk’s offer, the Saudi organisers instead gifted the rights to him for free, meaning the rematch will be shown on Ukrainian public TV as well as the fighter’s YouTube channel.
Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk explained how the deal came to fruition when talking to talkSPORT: “He intended to buy, but received it [free] for Ukraine.
“He makes it free to watch via Megogo [streaming service], his YouTube channel and via state public TV ‘Suspilne’.”
The August 20 showdown will remain a pay-per-view event in the UK, with Sky Sports offering the fight at £26.95.