The WBO have reportedly decided to conditionally approve the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. The governing body initially ruled that they may not sanction the super-fight, after allowing AJ to prioritise two voluntary defences against Andy Ruiz Jr and Kubrat Pulev.
After Joshua’s ninth-round stoppage of the Bulgarian, WBO president Paco Valcarcel confirmed on Twitter that Oleksandr Usyk was next in line for a world title shot following his victory over Dereck Chisora on Halloween.
The Ukrainian cleared out the cruiserweight division before making the step up to heavyweight in 2019.
Eddie Hearn was forced to begin talks with his entourage about stepping aside, in order to allow Joshua versus Fury to take place next.
Joshua has already made it clear that he will fight Fury next, even if it means vacating the WBO strap.
However, according to Boxing Scene, the WBO are no longer set to stand in the way.
Yet despite U-turning their initial decision to order Joshua’s defence against Usyk immediately, there is one key condition to their change of heart.
Whoever prevails in the undisputed clash must then fight the winner of Usyk and Joe Joyce within 180 days of their interim clash.
The two heavyweights, who fought in the World Series of Boxing back in 2013, are set to square off following Joyce’s impressive stoppage of Daniel Dubois.
His promoter Frank Warren has now confirmed that talks with Usyk are underway to finalise the fight.
“We’re working on, at the moment, Usyk and Joe Joyce,” Warren told iFL TV, after recently recovering from coronavirus.
“I think the WBO will order that as an ‘interim’ title fight so we’re working hard to make that happen…
“The situation is that the WBO have said they’d like to do that fight as an eliminator. We have no objection to that and I don’t think Usyk has.
“There’s been some preliminary talks and we’ll see where we go from there. I hope [it will happen]. It’s a good fight.
“And I think whoever wins it – based on his last performance, Joe’s looking really good.
“If he comes through it, it puts the winner in a tremendous position.
“The eventual winner of the two fights between Tyson and AJ will have to defend against Joyce or Usyk, or vacate the belt.”
Published at Thu, 21 Jan 2021 02:00:00 +0000