Home Boxing News Oleksandr Usyk deserves the chance to defend undisputed heavyweight championship, says rival’s...

Oleksandr Usyk deserves the chance to defend undisputed heavyweight championship, says rival’s promoter

Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Getty Images

The co-promoter of Tyson Fury 34-1-1 (24) believes Oleksandr Usyk 22-0 (14) should not be stripped of his IBF belt to allow him to defend his undisputed heavyweight championship against Fury in an immediate rematch in October.

Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 37, added Briton Fury’s WBC strap to his WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine titles with a split decision victory in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

The contract contained an immediate rematch clause that the 35-year-old Fury’s co-promoter Frank Warren says they have already activated.

Meanwhile, the IBF is considering stripping Usyk of their title for failing to face their mandatory contender Filip Hrgovic 17-0 (14). The undefeated Croatian returns to action this Saturday night in Saudi Arabia when he faces Britain’s Daniel Dubois 20-2 (19).

Team Usyk have filed an exception to prevent their man from being stripped of the belt and as things stand right now, it seems highly unlikely the New Jersey-based sanctioning body will make a decision before the weekend.

Britain’s Warren, who co-promotes Fury alongside American veteran Bob Arum, offered his view of the state of play.

“He has been suspended, Oleksandr, because of how tough the fight was,” the Queensberry Promotions chief explained to Seconds Out.

“I think it’s 45 or 40 days by the commission so he cannot be stripped at this stage of the same because he’s not in a position to defend his title so we will see what happens.

“That fight we just spoke about Dubois vs Hrgovic is a fantastic fight and in the worst-case scenario it’ll be an interim title fight. If it goes ahead as an interim title fight, I have no problem with that.

“A lot of people will be pissed off at me saying this, especially Hrgovic’s camp and maybe with Daniel who I’m involved with but I feel like it should be for the interim because I think the rematch should be for the four belts.”

Warren would like to see the winner of Hrgovic-Dubois face former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua 28-3 (25) to determine the top challenger to the victor of Usyk-Fury II.

“That’s what everybody wants to see, that’s what I’d love to see. AJ is coming off a really good line of form at the moment, he’s looked very good in his last two fights and him and Ben Davison is obviously a partnership that’s really working well,” Warren said.

“Let’s just say how it is, who wouldn’t want to see the winner of Hrgovic and Daniel Dubois fight [AJ] and I hope it’s Daniel because then it’ll be an all-British affair, two massive big punchers, [it] don’t get more exciting than that.

“Whatever happens, even if it is for the interim title, that means when the rematch happens [between Usyk and Fury], it means whoever wins it will have to fight against one of those guys [Dubois or Hrgovic or Joshua].”