Anthony Joshua rematches Oleksandr Usyk next month after the Ukrainian’s upset victory over ‘AJ’ in September. There has been considerable excitement about the main event, but the undercard is shaping up nicely as well.
So far, only one full fight has been confirmed – a cruiserweight bout between former super-middleweight world champion Badou Jack and undefeated prospect Richard Rivera – but there are reportedly many more contests in the works.
Jack’s rise to prominence is well documented. The Swede broke onto the world scene when he won the WBC super-middleweight title from Anthony Dirrell before defending the green strap against George Groves and Lucian Bute.
Jack moved to light-heavyweight after a draw with IBF champion James DeGale but was unable to secure a world title at 175lb. This will be his third fight at cruiserweight since making the move up in weight last year.
His opponent, Rivera, like Jack’s previous two foes at 200lb is very much an unknown quantity. ‘Popeye The Sailor Man’ is currently ranked as the 21st best light-heavyweight in the world according to BoxRec and has taken fights between 175lb and 200lb. Rivera is 21-0 with 16 of his 21 wins coming by way of knockout although most of those came against journeymen.
Elsewhere on the bill, former kickboxing world champion Tyrone Spong and Buddy McGirt prospect Ziyad Almaayouf have been officially booked on the card. Neither man has had their opponent officially confirmed as of yet.
Tyrone Spong is 14-0 as a professional boxer and was supposed to welcome Usyk to the heavyweight division in 2019, however, the Surinamese fighter tested positive for banned substances, leading to ‘The Cat’ being matched up with Chazz Witherspoon instead.
MORE BOXING NEWS…
Ziyad Almaayouf, meanwhile, will make his professional debut on the night. Little is known about the lightweight prospect.
Another fight that is rumoured to take place is the long-awaited showdown between Filip Hrgovic and Zhang Zhilei. According to reports from Dan Rafael, their delayed IBF final eliminator is being added to the ‘Rage on the Red Sea’ undercard. The pair were originally set to face each other in May, however, Hrgovic withdrew after the death of his father in the lead-up to the bout.
Full card (including rumoured fights)
Main Event: Oleksandr Usyk (c) vs Anthony Joshua – (WBA (Super), IBF, WBO heavyweight titles)
Badou Jack vs Richard Rivera (cruiserweight)
Tyrone Sponge vs TBA (heavyweight)
Ziyad Almaayouf vs TBA (lightweight)
Reportedly set to be booked
Fillip Hrgovic vs Zhang Zhilei (IBF heavyweight final eliminator)