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Usyk plans on destroying Joshua vs. Fury by forcing mandatory status

Aleksandr Usyk Derek Chisora

By Jeff Aronow: WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk is going to demand his mandated title shot against champion Anthony Joshua if he gets past Dereck Chisora on May 23. Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) won’t back away and let IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) bypass him so that he can fight Tyson Fury in a unification.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been talking until he’s blue in the face about how he wants to make a fight between Fury and AJ in December. Hearn is assuming that Usyk will volunteer to give up and forget about his WBO mandatory spot, and let Anthony and WBC champion Fury fight.

To realize Hearn’s dream, Joshua would still need to beat his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev on June 20, and Fury will need to defeat Wilder in their third fight on July 18.

Usyk won’t let Joshua fight Fury first

“They can’t. How can they do that?” said Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas to skysports.com in talking about Joshua bypassing Oleksandr to fight Fury in December.  “We have to win [against Chisora], then after the mandatory fight for the WBO has to happen.”

Joshua can still fight Fury if he wants to in December, but he’ll have to sacrifice his WBO belt in doing so. As such, the Joshua-Fury fight in December won’t be for the undisputed heavyweight championship, as Hearn hopes. It would be for three titles [IBF, WBA, and WBC]. The Joshua vs. Fury fight wild still attracts just as much interest from the boxing world, but it wouldn’t be for all the belts.

Hearn promotes Usyk as well as Joshua, it’s a simple matter of him making that fight after the Fury fight. However, there are a lot of people in the sport that think Fury beats Joshua. That’s the whole problem. Joshua would have a better shot against the 6’3″ Usyk than he would against the gargantuan 6’9″ Fury, who is in the prime of his career right now at 31.

There are positives and negatives about Joshua going around Usyk to take the fight with Fury in December. On the positive side, Joshua could take the fight with Fury as fast as possible , and give the fans the match that they want to see. Usyk would be a risky fight for AJ, and he might lose. On the negative side, Joshua could make the fight with Fury a lot bigger if he beats Usyk first.

Usyk sees Chisora a big challenge

“I think the Dereck Chisora fight will be a huge challenge for me. I will prepare, train hard as I used to train,” said Usyk to Matchroom Boxing. “I remember him spitting water into Wladimir’s face. I think he passed through the age of young kids with that kind of behavior, and now he will treat more seriously.

“I think we will make a great show for boxing fans, and they will love. I enjoy watching his fights, and he’s improved his skills considerably after Vitali Klitschko. I like to watch him fight,” said Usyk.

Chisora is a tremendous challenge for Usyk, who really hasn’t fought anyone as good as him in the pro ranks. Usyk almost lost to Mairis Briedis, who is easily the best guy he’s fought to date since turning professional in 2013. Chisora likely beats Briedis without any problems if they were to fight each other. The last quality guy that Usyk fought before Briedis was in the 2012 Olympics when he beat Artur Beterbiev.

Chisora has the ability to pressure Usyk in the same way Beterbiev and Briedis did and beat him as long the scoring is fair. If Usyk beats Chisora in a conclusive manner, it says a lot about his talent.


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