Usyk standing firm as Fury vs Joshua looms

Oleksandr Usyk is standing firm over his right to a WBO world heavyweight title shot as the world waits for news of a potential Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua showdown later this year.

The Fury and Joshua camps both appear to want that all-British unification battle next – potentially in late May or early June.

Usyk however is due a shot at the WBO title held by Joshua next as the body’s mandatory challenger. And according to his co-promoter Alex Krassyuk, there have been no discussions about him relinquishing that right.

Krassyuk told Sky Sports: “According to now the deadline is more for Fury and AJ not for Usyk. There were talks about an interim title or the AJ vs Fury winner relinquishing the WBO title the next day.

“But as for today Usyk is the WBO mandatory and never gave his consent for the bout (Fury vs Joshua) to happen without him.”

Usyk ready for title shot – Krassyuk

Usyk cemented his position as the WBO’s mandatory challenger by outpointing Dereck Chisora in London last October. And Krassyuk says he is now fully recovered and ready for a title shot this spring. Not an interim fight with no belts on the line.

“A non-title fight has never been under discussion and I really hope it will never be,” Krassyuk revealed.

“Usyk is in good conditions now, he successfully recovered from his last fight and looks forward to fight challenge the title this spring.”

Hearn: All belts could be off the table

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been outspoken in his stance over the whole issue. He is keen for Fury vs Joshua to be for all the belts and the undisputed champion moniker – a stated career goal for his man AJ.

However he has also been clear that he won’t be held to ransom and says if one belt has to be vacated, there is the possibility they all will be.