When is Anthony Joshua’s fight against Oleksandr Usyk and how can you watch it in Australia

There was a time, somewhere in the dim and distant past, when a heavyweight title fight stopped the world.

Well, alright: that was last October when Tyson Fury completed his trilogy against Deontay Wilder on a dramatic night – afternoon, for us in Australia – in Las Vegas.

There’s been two heavyweight title fights since then and will be another this weekend, with Oleksandr Usyk set to defend his recently acquired belts in a rematch with Anthony Joshua.

For a sport that people tell you isn’t what it used to be, there’s been a fair bit going on. The blue riband division of boxing is about as good as it’s been since, at the very least, the mid-90s.

The latest instalment comes around fresh on the back of Fury defending against Dillian Whyte in front of 94,000 people at Wembley Stadium in London, and on the back of Uysk-Joshua 1, which was a pretty good fight in itself.

Of course, nostalgia is never what it used to be. The heyday of heavyweight boxing was defined by fights in the desert amid a backdrop of ill-gotten gains, money-laundering, people disappearing never to be found and shedloads of dubious cash. But less about Casino, here’s the Saudis.

This one will take place in Jeddah – less the mecca of boxing, and more boxing near Mecca – and is set to draw a worldwide audience. Usyk wanted it to take place in Kyiv, but in case you don’t read the news, that isn’t really possible at the moment, while AJ has fought in Saudi before and quite likes it, thank you very much.

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When is Anthony Joshua’s fight against Oleksandr Usyk?

Right, so this is easy: it’s Sunday morning our time, with ringwalks scheduled for 7.30am AEST. This is boxing, of course, so all start times are a theoretical concept, but Dazn are usally pretty good at getting their fights to start roughly around when they say they will.

Saudi Arabia is about the worst place on Earth to put a fight if you want people in the UK, US, Europe and Asia to be able watch it, so they’ll be starting at half past midnight local time. Good job, really, because it’s meant to be 37 degrees in Jeddah, so it’ll be a cool and breezy 33 in the middle of the night. That should be fun for the fighters.

If you’re an early riser in Australia, then Filip Hrgovic is fighting Chinese heavyweight Zhang Zhilei beforehand and that’ll probably be quite good as well, so get yourself settled early.

The rest of the undercard isn’t much to write home about, if I’m being honest: Ben Whittaker, who went very well at the Olympics for GB, is early on the bill but it’s unlikely that this will be any test for him at all as it’s just his second pro fight.

Callum Smith, one of the best UK boxing talents and a former world champ, also appears, but again: the other bloke isn’t much of a draw. There’s also a pro debut for someone called Money Kicks, which you have to respect. I don’t know who they are, but what a name.

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How can I watch Usyk v Joshua in Australia?

You’re lucky if you live in Australia. Public support for proper boxing – not blown out former footballers lying to you – is quite low, meaning that they don’t bother to charge megabucks to watch these fights.

It’s DAZN for us, which you can pick up for just $13.99 a month, or, if you prefer, $13.99 total to watch this fight if you immediately cancel. It’s a great deal and no mistake. The Sky Box Office for this fight in the UK is close to $50, though apparently the Saudis are broadcasting it into Ukraine for free.

Who is going to win Joshua v Usyk 2?

There’s two schools of thought here. On one hand, those who saw the first fight will tell you that Usyk is a much better boxer, only getting better at heavyweight and Joshua is a plodding bodybuilder who was shown up quite badly.

Undoubtedly, this was true in the first encounter. It does ignore the fairly obvious point that Joshua fought very, very badly in the meeting in London, deciding inexplicably to try and box the boxer rather than remind the former cruiserweight that he used to be a cruiserweight.

If AJ tries to outbox Usyk, he’ll lose again and probably worse than last time. If, however, his new brains trust of Angel Fernandez and Robert Garcia decide to lean into the fairly obvious height and weight advantage, Joshua can certainly win.

After all, it’s heavyweight boxing and AJ is a natural, very big heavyweight. Usyk is likely to come in a lot heavier than last time, but he’ll still be smaller than Joshua.

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