The winner of the Usyk-Joshua rematch could soon find themselves in a fight against the winner of Saturday’s IBF final eliminator between Filip Hrgovic (14-0-0, 12 KOs) and Zhilei Zhang (24-0-1, 19KOs). The Croatian Hrgovic has long struggled to pin down big names as he ascends towards a shot at world honours, while Zhang has spoken on multiple occasions of his desire to take on Joshua in the 80,000 capacity Birds Nest Stadium in his native China.
The pair were originally set to face-off in May on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez‘s light-heavyweight defeat to Dmitry Bivol before the sudden death of Hrgovic’s father pushed the fight back until this weekend. While Hrgovic looks the easier on the eye, Zhang has won both of his previous two contests inside two rounds and the 6″6 frame of the thirty-nine-year-old makes him an intriguing puzzle for the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Hrgovic heading into this weekend.
Liverpool’s Callum Smith (28-1-0, 20KOs) also finds himself in a final eliminator versus France’s Mathieu Bauderlique (21-1-0, 12 KOs), with the winner in a strong position to face light-heavyweight king Artur Beterbiev in 2023. Smith stepped up to 175-pounds following a comprehensive defeat to the aforementioned Canelo Alvarez at the end of 2019 in his final bout at super-middleweight, and made his light-heavy debut with a chilling knockout of Lenin Castillo on the undercard of Joshua-Usyk last year. Bauderlique meanwhile secured the European title versus Igor Mikhalkin with a seventh-round retirement victory in Paris and will no doubt harbour world title ambitions of his own heading into this weekend.
Further down the card, Badou Jack (26-3-3, 16KOs) takes on the undefeated Richard Rivera (21-0-0, 16KOs) over ten rounds at cruiserweight in his third consecutive fight in the Middle East, while Ramla Ali (6-0-0, 1KO) and Crystal Nova (10-2-0, 10KOs) make history to become the first ever female fighters to take part in a sanctioned boxing bout in Saudi Arabia. Tokyo 2020 light-heavyweight silver medalist Ben Whittaker (1-0-0, 1KO) returns for the second time as a professional as he takes on the unbeaten Peter Nosic (6-0-0) at 175-pounds, while heavyweights Andrew Tabiti (19-1-0, 15KOs) and James Wilson (7-0-1, 6KOs) collide over eight rounds.
Daniel Lapin (5-0-0) of Ukraine takes on Jozef Jurko (9-6-1, 6KOs) at light-heavyweight, and lightweights Bader Samreen (5-0-0, 4KOs) and Fuad Tarverdi (5-2-0, 4KOs) meet in a six-round contest. Ziyad Almaayouf and Jose Alatorre clash as both men make their professional debuts at 140-pounds, and Rashed Belhasa makes his debut versus Traycho Georgiev (0-3-0) at welterweight.
Sky Sports Box Office will broadcast the card for a price of £26.95, with coverage of the main broadcast set to begin at 6:00pm UK time. Will Usyk repeat his victory from last September or will Joshua redeem himself again? Our preview for the huge heavyweight showdown can be found here.