Oleksandr Usyk is ready to scupper plans for a massive Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua superfight, according to his co-promoter Eddie Hearn.
The Uktrainian former cruiserweight king (17-0) is already the mandatory contender for Joshua’s WBO world heavyweight title despite only having had one fight so far at the higher division – an easy defeat of Chazz Witherspoon last year. He is lined up for a much sterner test against battle-hardened veteran Dereck Chisora (32-9) later this year.
Team Usyk have already said they expect their man to face the winner of Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev after those two face off in London on Saturday December 12.
But that possibility would likely delay any Fury vs Joshua clash. Only recently one massive barrier to their expected showdown was removed when WBC mandatory contender Dillian Whyte suffered a devastating fifth-round stoppage at the hands of Russian Alexander Povetkin on August 22.
Hearn, who also promotes Joshua, told Sky Sports: “For sure, yes he’s (Usyk) not stepping aside. He wants the fight – the winner of Joshua against Pulev for the WBO world title. Maybe Mr Chisora puts a spanner in the works like Alexander Povetkin did (with Dillian Whyte). Anything could happen.
“Usyk believes he could go out, get a good win under his belt in the heavyweight division and then move on to challenge for a world title in 2021.”
Usyk would appear to be the last potential barrier to the first instalment of Fury vs Joshua taking place in the summer of 2021. First of course Joshua must overcome IBF mandatory contender Pulev, while Fury is slated to meet Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight – likely in Las Vegas – on Saturday December 19.
Fury and Joshua have already agreed in principle the financial structure for a two-fight deal. They would split revenues 50-50 for the first bout with the winner taking a 60-40 share for the rematch.