WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk has effectively been stuck in limbo since his October victory over Dereck Chisora. While the expectation was that he’d fight Joe Joyce while champion Anthony Joshua unified against Tyson Fury, the long quest to actually finalize Fury-Joshua kept Usyk-Joyce from ever coming to fruition either.
Now, with Deontay Wilder’s rematch clause threatening to torpedo the undisputed clash, the former cruiserweight king wants his shot. Mike Coppinger reports that his legal team sent a letter to the myriad parties involved demanding that the WBO enforce the mandatory, with August 21st and 28th “tossed around” as potential dates.
Bob Arum recently claimed that they’d set aside July 24th for the potential Fury-Wilder trilogy match, so the timing works out.
Thanks to the WBO’s rules regarding champions moving up in weight, Usyk (18-0, 13 KO) automatically became mandatory challenger after vacating the last of his cruiserweight titles in 2019. Between Joshua’s (24-1, 22 KO) duology with Andy Ruiz Jr, the presence of IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev, and Usyk’s own injury woes, the fight never quite materialized.
Any bets on this ridiculous saga’s ultimate outcome? Will we see the Fury-Wilder winner take on the Joshua-Usyk winner later this year, or will a bunch of money make these problems go away?