One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury has been cleared. The IBF has rescinded its order for Usyk to face mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic, acknowledging that WBA “world” champion Daniel Dubois is next in line.
Per Dan Rafael, Dubois “won’t be next,” and knowing the WBA’s historical disinclination for making its secondary heavyweight champion fight the real deal, I believe it.
It really does seem like we’ll be getting an undisputed heavyweight title fight after all these year. Frank Warren recently announced that they’d sent a draft contract to Usyk (20-0, 13 KO) for a potential March showdown, though the location remains up in the air.
If you’re holding onto hope that 2023 will be the year that all the obvious, eagerly anticipated fights actually happen, early signs are promising.
For my money, the big loser here isn’t Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KO) but Eddie Hearn, who’d been a bit of a butthole about pushing for an immediate purse bid. While I generally try to avoid it in order to maintain a facade of journalistic neutrality, I will allow myself a bit of schadenfreude.