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WBO lines up Oleksandr Usyk for Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua winner

The sanctioning body supports an undisputed title unification, but then says their mandatory is next.

Oleksandr Usyk v Chazz Witherspoon Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

The WBO seems to be getting their ducks in a row as they’re already planning to install their #1 rated contender Oleksandr Usyk for a mandatory title shot against the winner of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

News broke this week that Fury and Joshua have reached some sort of agreement in principle to face off for the undisputed heavyweight title, but they’ve both got upcoming fights they’ve got to get through first.

For Fury, he has a third fight against Deontay Wilder coming later in the year (with word leaking that December is most likely). Meanwhile Joshua has his own mandatory title defense against IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev. Assuming both Fury and Joshua win those fights, they’ve apparently agreed to face one another for all the marbles in a two-fight deal. After that, Usyk comes off the on-deck circle, says WBO president Francisco Valcarcel.

“I would love to see WBO champion Anthony Joshua unify titles with former WBO champion and current WBC (World Boxing Council) champ Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight championship, but the next challenger should be the mandatory challenger for the WBO,” Valcárcel said.

But based on the timetable for all of this to happen, Usyk’s shot may not come for at least another full year — while a lot can change between now and then, as we all know. And let’s not forget good ol’ Dillian Whyte, who is still waiting in the wings for his chance at the WBC heavyweight title. The WBC say he’s due that opportunity by Feb. 2021, which could obviously become a conflict that fractures the undisputed titles at that point.

So let the clusterfuckery commence! Boxing is back!

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