London (AFP)

Britain's Anthony Joshua will put his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world belts on the line against Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 at Tottenham Stadium in London, he said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I'm putting everything on the line, it's time to defend my crown," said Joshua, quoted by sporting events promotion company Matchroom Sport.

The two boxers were Olympic champions in London in 2012, Joshua in the super heavyweight category and Usyk in the heavyweight.

Joshua was originally scheduled to meet compatriot Tyson Fury in August in Saudi Arabia for a hugely lucrative unification fight, until a refereeing in the United States forced Fury, the WBC world champion in the category, to face a third time the American Deontay Wilder for contractual reasons.

The first Fury-Wilder fight ended in a draw in December 2018. Fury then won by KO in the 7th round in February 2020. He was due to meet the American for the third time this weekend, but the meeting has was postponed to October 9 in Las Vegas, Fury having tested positive for Covid-19.

In case of further success, Fury could find Anthony Joshua if he wins against Oleksandr Usyk.

The task does not look easy for the Briton, the Ukrainian having won his 18 professional fights, including 13 before the limit - but only two heavy.

"Olympic gold against Olympic gold, unified heavyweight champion against undefeated light heavyweight champion, this game is a must," said Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn.

© 2021 AFP