Fight fans in the UK are desperate to see Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua next summer, but according to Alex Krassyuk we could end up with a very different scenario instead – Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk.
The Ukrainian former cruiserweight king (now 18-0) cemented his position as the WBO mandatory heavyweight challenger by outpointing Dereck Chisora in October. And now his camp are pushing for what they believe is their rightful shot at AJ.
In the immediate aftermath of Joshua’s dismantling of Kubrat Pulev on Saturday, WBO President Paco Valcarcel appeared to re-iterate that Usyk should get his title shot before any Fury vs Joshua fight.
And now Usyk’s co-promoter Krassyuk says the plan is for his man to meet AJ in April or May.
Team Usyk have clear Joshua plan
He told Sky Sports: “My prediction, my plan and our strategy is to make AJ vs Usyk in April or May 2021. This is the WBO who has the power to enforce the champion for the mandatory.
“Though everyone wants to see AJ fighting Fury I don’t feel this fight is likely to happen soon.”
Usyk to step aside? Not likely
Team Usyk have been steadfast in their belief that their man would get his opportunity to meet Joshua if the Watford man disposed of Pulev.
Krassyuk had told Furyjoshua.com back in October that Usyk is focused on becoming a megastar at heavyweight, just as he was at cruiser. He also said there is no way he would advise Usyk to consider taking step-aside money to allow Fury vs Joshua to happen.
He explained: “The final decision always belongs to the fighter, but I will never advise him to take money to step aside. And I can explain to you why.
“Disputing the world title in the heavyweight division is not a matter of money – it is a matter of heritage. Money may run out some day, but the championship will stay forever.
“In 20 years he will tell his grandchildren about his career, and he would not feel comfortable telling them he stepped aside for money instead of insisting on challenging for the title.”
Joshua of course could vacate the WBO title which would likely leave Usyk to meet the #2-ranked Joe Joyce for the vacant strap. That though would mean Fury vs Joshua would not be for the undisputed heavyweight title. Something which Joshua has stated is a huge career goal for him.