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.
WILL USYK STOP UNDISPUTED FIGHT? @EddieHearn told Toe2Toe he doesn't think @usykaa will prevent the AJ Fury undisputed fight... and @JoeJoyceBoxing may come into play— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) January 14, 2021
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“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.”