Oleksandr Usyk’s team have commented on the news that, per an IBF order, the hopes of seeing the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis may be dashed yet again.
If no other arrangement is reached between the two teams, the fight will go ahead and would push back a potential undisputed bout between Usyk and Tyson Fury, who holds the WBC belt. The historic clash had been targeted for March of 2023.
Eddie Hearn, who co-promotes Hrgovic with Wasserman Boxing, said that the ruling would stop Usyk facing Fury ‘for now.’ Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, responded via Twitter.
“Correct he represents Hrgovic, but at [the] same time we represent boxing and [its] fans. At the time when Usyk was mandatory [for] WBO for Joshua and unification was on [the] line [with] Joshua vs Fury, team Usyk was willing to fight Joyce and let the history [be] made.”
Correct he represents Hrgovic, but at same time we represent Boxing and it’s fans. At the time when Usyk was mandatory WBO for Joshua and unification was on line Joshua vs Fury, team Usyk was willing to fight Joyce and let the history made. https://t.co/2PS6SbXVLi
— Egis Klimas (@KlimasBoxing) November 13, 2022
The boxing businessman is referring to when Hearn’s fighter, Anthony Joshua, held the belts that he ultimately went on to lose to Usyk. At that time, there was the potential of an all-British undisputed fight between ‘AJ’ and Fury and, according to Klimas, they would have let it happen.
Sanctioning bodies often prioritise unification bouts over mandatories where they can, however it’s within the IBF’s rules that requests for this can only be submitted if there’s a negotiation period. To avoid this, team Hrgovic have requested the bout with Usyk go straight to purse bids.
This is a developing story that will, in turn, shape the heavyweight division. Fury faces Derek Chisora on December 3, and, should he win like many assume he will, we expect to know more on whether or not the Ukrainian champion will be free to face him in the new year.