Eddie Hearn has said that the highly-anticipated rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk is due to take place on the 23rd July.

Hearn, speaking to the Lightweight Boxing Show, also revealed that if that is the date that is chosen, the bout is likely to take place in the Middle East.

“If we go July 23rd, it will be in the Middle East, and you’ll get an announcement next week.

“I think it’s 9 weeks, so we’re ready to go, finalising the paperwork at the moment but very likely that’ll be the date for the big unified heavyweight world championship rematch.”

Hearn also revealed that Derek Chisora is close to returning to the ring but wouldn’t reveal the potential opponent.

“We’ve got a great fight for him [Chisora]. We’re just trying to get the other end of the contract signed. Chisora signed this morning.

“If so, we’ll announce that for July 9th at the 02 – tremendous fight. Once you see it announced, you know this can only be a war.”

Hearn also said he’s spoken to Dillian Whyte since his defeat to Tyson Fury and thinks “he wants to get back in the ring as soon as possible.”

Ahead of this weekend’s bout between Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards (Buatsi 2/11, Richards 4/1, Draw 22/1), Hearn believes the fight is “50/50”.

“This is the battle of Crystal Palace, of Croyden, South London. But it’s also got massive ramifications on a global level with Dmitry Bivol’s great win last week [vs Canelo Alvarez].

“They just want to win. A lot of people in boxing feel like this [fight] is a 50/50. To the more casual punter who’s heard me ramp up Joshua Buatsi for the last three years, you think he’s a favourite.

“But it’s going to be a very, very interesting fight.”

However, fight of the night for Hearn comes from the undercard in the form of Alen Babic up against Adam Balski (Babic 3/10, Balski 11/4, Draw 18/1).

“Fight of the night for me could be Alen Babic against Adam Balski. Babic now moving back to bridgerweight. Balski is a very, very good, young, Polish fighter.

“That’s another good 50/50 fight.”

Babic, also spoke to the Lightweight Boxing Show ahead of the fight, and he said he knows he can “create hell in the ring” despite his move back to bridgerweight. When asked if he thought he could win titles at three different weight classes, Babic said:

“Well, that’s a far-fetched thought, but it’s there. I may be world champion this year against Oscar Rivas. Nobody thought that was possible.

“So, let’s see where the Savage saga goes. I don’t look past this fight [potentially against Rivas].”