After dominating the cruiserweight division, Usyk made the step up to heavyweight, and after just three fights he finds himself holding the unified WBA, IBF, WBA and IBO belts.
The 35-year-old produced a major upset in London last year, scoring a unanimous points victory against Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Now, 11 months on, they prepare to clash again on August 20 in Saudi Arabia.
Had Joshua won the first fight against Usyk, there’s every chance he’d be lining up a fight against former WBC champion Deontay Wilder this year, with the two sharing a long-lasting feud.
Wilder and Joshua have been rumoured to fight each other for years, with both fighters frequently trading insults over social media.
Wilder has been out of the ring since losing his trilogy fight to the recently-retired Tyson Fury, but he announced on Wednesday that he’s preparing his return in October against Robert Helenius.
On top of his fight announcement, Wilder couldn’t help but offer his opinion and insight on the Usyk vs Joshua rematch, with the 36-year-old predicting a repeat victory for Usyk on Saturday night.
“My heart says Usyk easily, he’s got the momentum now,” said Wilder.
But the Alabama-born fighter was also quick to acknowledge that anything can happen inside the ring.
“But this is boxing and you never know. I wish them the best of luck and hope they get out of the ring just like they came in – safe and sound.”
Wilder recently admitted he came close to retiring after his defeat to Fury, but scheduling his comeback fight with Helenius is the American’s first step towards reclaiming the belt recently vacated by the Gypsy King.
The event is scheduled to take place on October 15 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Helenius boasts a 31-3 record with 20 knockouts, with his last win coming against Adam Kownacki on the undercard of Fury vs Wilder III.
Meanwhile, Wilder will be keeping a keen eye on the winner of Usyk vs Joshua, with the Bronze Bomber potentially ready to call out the victor.