At times, boxing can get in its own way, even when an opportunity is right in front of it. One ruling, specifically mandatory challenger orders, can affect everything.
Luckily, if everything goes according to plan, it looks like the heavyweight division will finally move forward with an undisputed heavyweight title fight.
The WBA recently ordered WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and The Ring heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to defend his titles against Daniel Dubois next. This came to be during the WBA Centennial Convention, and the fight would be a step to eliminate secondary belts. Dubois recently beat Kevin Lerena in December via TKO to retain the WBA (Regular) heavyweight title.
At first, many thought that would further halt a fight between Usyk and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. However, there may be a way to salvage it. Queensberry Promotions’ Frank Warren, who represents Fury and Dubois, told The Unibet Lockdown that Fury vs. Usyk will take priority over Dubois’ mandatory shot.
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“That’s what all sides wanted to do,” Warren stated about Fury vs. Usyk. “We’ve already agreed, all the parts. We want the fight. We’re just working out, I suppose, the logistics and where it takes place. And that’s really it. We’re going to have to make some decisions very quickly about that… Everybody in this fight, none of them have agendas. They are all on the same page.”
Fury, who recently returned to action following a brief retirement, beat Derek Chisora via TKO at the beginning of December. Following the fight, he had a staredown with Usyk, who beat Anthony Joshua in a rematch back in August.
Tyson Fury wasted no time and called out Oleksandr Usyk immediately 😬#FuryChisora3
— Sporting News Boxing (@sn_fights) December 3, 2022
“I’m ready and willing to take on Usyk next, whether it’s going to be in Saudi Arabia or back here in the UK. Let’s give the fans one champion, one name, one face,” Fury said following his fight against Chisora.
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ESPN’s Mike Coppinger stated that, while it won’t affect Fury-Usyk, Dubois will be next in line for a mandatory shot, as he is ahead of the rotation of contenders.
Other contenders include IBF International heavyweight champion Filip Hrgovic, represented by Eddie Hearn and Kalle Sauderland, and Joe Joyce, the interim WBO heavyweight champion. Joyce is also represented by Warren.