Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk recently announced that they have signed to put their heavyweight titles on the line in an undisputed fight set for late 2023 or early 2024.
The news comes before Fury’s next fight – a crossover contest against MMA star, Francis Ngannou.
As for Usyk, he is coming off the back of his first mandatory defence as a unified champion. Next in line for the IBF belt is Filip Hrgovic – and his team aren’t keen on missing that opportunity.
Speaking to Boxing Social, promoter Nisse Sauerland said that there may be a legal process ahead to get his man the mandatory shot.
“I still find it quite unbelievable, almost disrespectful towards Ngannou, who’s meant to be fighting a ten-rounder against Tyson. We have a position. I can’t discuss it too much here. We are consulting some kind of a legal process, because we’ve simply waited around since the Zhang fight last August for a mandatory.
We were pretty much made to fight Demsey McKean to keep our ranking and keep our mandatory spot. I understand that everyone wants to see that fight [Fury-Usyk].
And whatever anyone says – ‘he doesn’t deserve it’ – he’s in that position. So you want to make a guy wait for a year and a half? He’s got loss of earnings, at the prime of his career, it’s just not very moral.”
Undefeated Hrgovic cemented his position as mandatory with a decision win over Zhilei Zhang back in 2022. He recently defended that status with a final round stoppage of Australia’s Demsey McKean.
Should the legal consultation or any appeals to the IBF not come off in Hrgovic’s favour, the plan is to keep him busy rather than wait it out.
“I think he’s gonna have to keep busy isn’t he. We’ll see. I’d like to keep busy. He’s had too may long spells off because of injury or inactivity. Ideally we’d keep him busy.”
Word from both the Fury and Usyk camp is that their official fight date will be announced following the Ngannou event. Boxing Social has reached out to the IBF for comment.