Boxing: After an “opportunity” for an undisputed title bout with Tyson Fury vanished, Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will resume their feud.
On Tuesday night, the WBC heavyweight champion Fury was ordered by the organisation to begin negotiations for a fight with Dillian Whyte, who has been selected as his mandatory challenger.
After losing the IBF, WBA, and WBO championships against Usyk, Joshua exercised his option for a rematch.
Joshua “may contemplate stepping aside,” according to Usyk’s team, leaving the Ukrainian to determine every major title in the division with Fury.
“Exactly – AJ is next for Usyk,” Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports, referring to the WBC’s judgement on Tuesday. That is the path to take.
“Some discussions had a place, and they are still ongoing. The rematch, though, is the fundamental platform.
“Usyk had no intention of facing Fury.
“He saw it as a possibility or an opportunity. However, the overall direction remained constant.”
Fury’s promoter in the United States, Bob Arum of Top Rank, recently stated: “If Joshua declines to fight Usyk in a rematch and decides to step aside, the fight we want to see is between Usyk and Fury.
“The winner of the undisputed fight will then face Joshua.
“That’s exactly what Tyson wants. And I am Tyson’s representative. He prefers it that way.”
“We heard some buzz regarding AJ [needing a new opponent], which we are open to,” Zhilei Zhang’s adviser Terry Lane stated.
When asked about Joshua’s possible withdrawal from the rematch with Usyk, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn declined to comment, but earlier stated: “It’s all he’s thought about since the night of the first fight.”
After the WBC announced Whyte as Fury’s mandatory challenger, his agonisingly long wait for a first-ever world title shot appears to be over.
Whyte had previously stated about his pursuit of Fury, “He just keeps making excuses.”
“Hopefully he doesn’t have a choice now.”
Last month, Fury revealed his plans to Sky Sports, saying, “Whoever is available, whatever makes sense.”
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