Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury should be delayed, demands Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter

Oleksandr Usyk, right, wants to fight Joe Joyce next

Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter has called for WBO to enforce his mandatory title shot against Joe Joyce, and delay Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury. 

Alexander Krassyuk has said that talks to fight Joyce for the WBO interim title have not progressed for two months, but this has been disputed by Joyce’s representatives.

Joshua and Fury are in negotiations to decide an undisputed heavyweight champion, but no confirmation has yet been made.

Krassyuk stated that if Joshua and Fury’s fight is unlikely to happen this year or is rescheduled to the end of the year, then Joshua must make a mandatory defence against Usyk unless he surrenders the title.  

He told Sky Sports: “The WBO has to gather strength and to make the courageous decision – to order AJ vs Usyk and that will be the triumph of justice. Otherwise, boxing will accelerate its decline in popularity due to unfair and preconceived politics.”

In January, Usyk received a letter from the WBO that confirmed the governing body had planned to authorise Joshua vs Fury. 

As Usyk is the mandatory challenger to the belt held by Joshua, it caused a possible set-back in the proposed mega-fight against Fury. 

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Instead, Usyk and the WBO’s No2 ranked contender Joyce started negotiations to fight for the interim title, as well as a future opportunity at either Joshua or Fury. 

Krassyuk claims that Usyk is not able to move in the sport as there’s no protection around the fight against Joyce. 

He said: “My last conversation regarding Joyce took place in the middle of January. Since that time, we have hardly moved anywhere.”

However, Joyce’s team have disregarded these comments, stating that they have been talking to Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas about the bout. 

Krassyuk also said that there was a lack of clarity over how to divide the prize money, which is causing a further delay, as the WBO has not officially confirmed the split.

He argued: “The split should be defined as the average of the last three fights of both fighters. According to my knowledge, it should look like 93 percent in favour of Usyk.” 

The minimum split allowed by the WBO currently is 80/20. Joyce’s manager Sam Jones disregarded the 93/7 split as “ridiculous”.

He said: “We have the utmost respect for the WBO, one of the fairest sanctioning bodies in boxing, and we are sure they will come to a fair and appropriate purse split if the matter does go to purse bids.”

The proposed fight between Usyk and Joyce is seen as one of the major hurdles being solved on the road to Joshua and Fury deciding the heavyweight division’s No 1. 

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