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Eddie Hearn thinks Oleksandr Usyk should face Joe Joyce to make way for undisputed Joshua-Fury fight

Hearn suggests that Usyk ultimately won’t want to be the man who prevented the biggest heavyweight fight in a generation.

Oleksandr Usyk and Derek Chisora Press Conference Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Boxing promoters are doing the unthinkable by giving all fans plenty hope that we’re on the verge of seeing an undisputed heavyweight title unification between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

Despite ongoing arbitration between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder over a contracted third fight, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn are pretty damn confident that the contract has expired and won’t be an issue. Oleksandr Usyk, on the other hand, just might prove to be an obstacle as he’s due a mandatory shot a Joshua’s WBO title and hasn’t seemed inclined to step aside.

That said, Hearn tells Sky Sports that he thinks Usyk is actually quite reasonable and a boxing fan in his own right, and will recognize the significance of Joshua-Fury and what it could do for the sport. Hearn doesn’t think Usyk should just pass up he title shot, per se, but thinks he might instead just fight Joe Joyce for an interim title for now.

“You could say to Usyk, ‘listen, set your fight with Joe Joyce, maybe it’s for the interim belt or after that fight it becomes for the full championship.’ And one thing about Usyk is, he’s a classy guy, like he’s a boxing guy through and through. He will see that actually even in his position, he will see that Fury-AJ is so good for the sport of boxing.

“So, Oleksandr Usyk, do you want to stop the undisputed heavyweight world championship? And actually, the fans won’t like it if he does as well.

“But again, we can’t just disrespect him and say ‘Sorry, mate. You just have to wait.’ We have to come up with something. And the answer I see is for him to fight Joe Joyce.”

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