A new hurdle has emerged in the target of a world unification heavyweight boxing bout between Anthony Olaseni Oluwafemi Joshua and Tyson ‘Gypsy King’ Fury, as mandatory challenger, Oleksandr Usyk insists he will not step aside for the bigger fight to happen.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, although Joshua versus Fury is the fight the whole world is waiting for, Usyk is earnestly demanding justice as the next man to as the next man to get an opportunity of jostling for the global title.
Joshua and Fury are in talks to decide an undisputed heavyweight champion but, with no confirmation yet, Usyk has delivered a reminder of his status as World Boxing Organisation (WBO) mandatory challenger.
Usyk’s promoter, Alexander Krassyuk has now stepped up the demand for ‘justice’ by charging the WBO to make what he called a courageous decision to enforce his mandatory title shot – and delay Joshua’s bid to snatch the single belt currently held by Fury.
Usyk is the mandatory challenger to the belt held by Joshua so was a potential stumbling block in the proposed mega-fight with Fury, after he and Joe Joyce (the WBO’s No 2 ranked contender) began talks to fight for the interim title and a future opportunity at either of the top two Britons.
Sky Sports revealed in January that Usyk had received a letter from the WBO confirming that the governing body planned to sanction Joshua versus Fury, but negotiations to fight Joyce for the WBO interim title have not progressed in two months, Krassyuk claims, but that has been disputed by Joyce’s representatives.
Krassyuk told Sky Sports: “If AJ vs Fury is not likely to happen this year or is rescheduled until the end of the year, AJ has to make a mandatory defence against Usyk unless he relinquishes the title.
“The WBO has to gather strength and to make the courageous decision – to order AJ vs Usyk. And that will be the triumph of justice. Otherwise boxing will accelerate its decline in popularity due to unfair and preconceived politics. Usyk cannot make any move as there’s no certainty around.
“Usyk is doing well, safe and sound, fit and working hard. And is ready to face whoever the WBO legally nominates. But my last conversation regarding Joyce took place in the middle of January. I talked to George Warren [part of Joyce’s promotional team]. Since that time, we have hardly moved anywhere.”