Fresh off the collapse of his proposed undisputed title fight with Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk has his marching orders.
The WBA officially ordered him to begin negotiations with secondary titlist Daniel Dubois, giving the pair until May 2nd to avoid a purse bid. A previous order arrived in December, but “a period of time was granted for Usyk to negotiate the unification fight with Tyson Fury.”
IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic is next for the winner, followed by whoever holds the interim WBO title once all that is said and done. Joe Joyce defends that belt against Zhilei Zhang in less than two weeks.
Is wrong as it feels to say this about a WBA heavyweight title consolidation, this does feel surprisingly quick. Dubois (19-1, 18 KO) appeared to injure his knee fairly badly in last December’s comeback knockout of Kevin Lerena, but upon the WBA’s request, a physician-signed health report claims Dubois “is ready to do any physical activity, run, carry weight and feels no pain in his knee.”
So, here we are.
Ignore the circumstances surrounding it and it’s a fine matchup between a hard-hitting physical specimen in Dubois and an undersized technician in Usyk (20-0, 13 KO). We’ll keep you posted as it comes together.