Anthony Joshua will trigger his right to an immediate rematch with Oleksandr Usyk by the end of this week.
Contrary to reports, the process of formally activating the second bout for the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight world titles has not been completed.
However, Sportsmail understands it will be done in the coming days, with the fight likely to take place in the UK in February or March.
There is a 28-day period for the contractual clause to be activated and Joshua has already instructed his promoter Eddie Hearn to go ahead with plans for a second crack at the Ukrainian.
Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk has been quoted in the Ukraine as saying the deal is close. He said: ‘The rematch was specified in the contract.
‘It has already been activated in principle, from the side of Joshua.
So I remember when we discussed with Oleksandr the issue of rematch, he was delighted and said, ‘Wow, cool, I will beat Antokha (Anthony) twice’.’