Anthony Joshua to make title defence against Oleksandr Usyk in London

  • Usyk will step up from cruiserweight for fight in September
  • Joshua: ‘It’s time to defend my crown’

Anthony Joshua will defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against former undisputed world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk as the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosts a boxing event for the first time on 25 September.

Joshua had seemed on course for a blockbuster all-British showdown against Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia in August but the bout was scuppered when a United States arbitrator ordered the WBC champion to take on Deontay Wilder again.

Related: ‘I own you’: Tyson Fury signs contract to fight Deontay Wilder for third time

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Boxers on the Tokyo medal trail and aiming to emulate Team GB legends

They may not have standout stars such as Nicola Adams and Anthony Joshua but the 11-strong Team GB boxing team are eyeing a big medal haul in Japan

Amateur boxing is often scarred by chaos and duplicity, with unpredictable draws and dubious officiating, and some great fighters at past Olympic Games have had their dreams ruined. But all seven men and four women in the GB boxing team have reason to hope that, with a favourable draw and a sustained burst of form, they could win a medal in Tokyo. It helps that the new Boxing Task Force, set up by the IOC to run the qualifying events as well as the Tokyo programme, appears to have improved the standard and fairness of judging.

There are also clear boxing reasons for British optimism before the first bell. This squad has a deeper pool of talent than the previous two GB Olympic boxing teams which won five medals at London 2012 and then three at the Rio Games in 2016.

Related: Boxer Charley Davison: ‘An Olympic medal could change my life’

Related: Chris Eubank leads tributes after son Sebastian dies in Dubai

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Boxer Charley Davison: ‘An Olympic medal could change my life’

Davison retired in 2012 but Nicola Adams inspired her and after having three children she will fight for Team GB in Tokyo

“Someone asked me the other day if I would prefer to be known as The Boxing Mum rather than just another fighter or mother,” Charley Davison says, “and I just thought: ‘Yeah, I really like that.’ That’s what gives me the drive. That’s what I think about all the time – my kids and boxing. People congratulate me on making the Olympics and they always say: ‘Oh, we can’t believe you’ve got three children.’ But before I get into that ring all I think about is them three children. This is not just for me. It’s for them as well. This could change my life as well as theirs if I was to get a medal at the Olympics.”

Davison was on the fringes of Olympic selection when she retired from boxing in 2012 to start a family with her partner in Lowestoft. After giving birth to Arnell, Amani and Amir, Davison returned to the gym in 2019 to lose weight and she was soon gripped by boxing all over again. She became England national champion later that same year and, last month, she won her place as a flyweight in the GB Olympic squad. Davison is now determined to win a medal in Tokyo.

Related: Team GB name 11-strong Olympic boxing squad packed with talent

Related: Nicola Adams wins world boxing title to complete full gold-medal set

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