ANTHONY JOSHUA's do-or-die rematch with Oleksandr Usyk could take place in the Middle East.

The Watford warrior, 31, will share the ring with the southpaw technician early next year after having the unified heavyweight titles ripped from his grasp last month.



Undefeated Ukrainian Usysk wants his first title defence to take place on home soil, but promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed several Middle Eastern countries have tabled 'offers' to host the fight.

He told The BBC: "Usyk has mentioned Kiev in his home country Ukraine as a potential venue and we will look at all options.

"When AJ heard about that he didn't have an issue with it and found it quite exciting.

"I would like to do it back in the UK and we've had offers from the Middle East but we will see what's the best opportunity for both fighters.

"I don't think the venue makes much difference in how AJ has to fight."

Matchroom Boxing chief Hearn is hoping to give Joshua his crack at redemption in the spring of 2022.

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He added: "We will formally announce the rematch in due course and start planning with K2 Promotions – March or April is sensible for the rematch."

Defeat to the fleet-footed Usyk, who bounced up from cruiserweight, has lit a fire under AJ.

Hearn said: "Anthony Joshua is hurting like crazy at losing his world heavyweight belts to Oleksandr Usyk, but I have never seen him this hungry and more determined to win the rematch.

"Actually, obsessed is a better word because since that fight, he has spoken about it, what he needs to do and what he needs to change, in every conversation I've had with him."

He added: "I've seen many comments on how the tactics were wrong – and they were – but it's difficult to not appreciate the things Usyk did.

"AJ was frustrated because he knows he can do so much better and boxed the wrong fight, but Usyk's performance was exceptional.

"But, going back to the [Andy] Ruiz loss, that was different as it was just such a shock, nobody knew what to say.

"Here, you could see AJ's mind working overtime on how he can beat Usyk. It was like the preparation for the rematch began then."

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