Usyk says Joshua must fight him next or vacate WBO title

By Boxing News - 11/01/2020 - Comments

By Brad Slotnick: Oleksander Usyk insists that he get his mandated title shot against WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua next following his victory last Saturday night against British fighter Dereck Chisora.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk beat Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Wembley Arena in London, UK. It was a good win in a close fight, thanks to the fast start by the 36-year-old Chisora.

Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) says he will absolutely not agree to a step aside fee to allow IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) to take on WBC champ Tyson Fury next. Oleksandr doesn’t care about money. He wants his title shot as the WBO mandatory.

After the fight, Usyk, 33, says he and Joshua shouted stuff back and forth when they ran into each other. Usyk says he let Joshua know that he’s coming for him next.

Usyk told Joshua he’s coming for him

“I greeted him, asked him how he is, and I shouted a message to him,” said Usyk about his exchange with Anthony Joshua at the fight last Saturday. “‘Anthony, I’m coming for you.'”

Image: Usyk says Joshua must fight him next or vacate WBO title

Oleksandr won’t accept step aside for Joshua-Fury fight

“If they ask for my permission, I will not allow,” Usyk said in response to a question about whether he’d allow Joshua to fight Tyson Fury before he faces him. “Happiness does not lie in money,” Usyk said when asked if he’ll accept a step aside payment to let AJ and Fury fight ahead of his mandated WBO title shot.

“Yeah [Joshua will have to fight him or vacate his title]. Maybe,” Usyk said about whether he wants to fight Joshua in early 2021.

Joshua, 31, will need to decide whether he values his WBO title enough for him to defend it against Usyk in a responsible way or whether he’ll swerve him by vacating the title.

It’s doubtful that the World Boxing Organization will get mixed up in this mess by allowing Joshua to skip past his responsibility of needing to defend his WBO strap against mandatory Usyk.

If Joshua wants to keep his WBO title, he’s going to need to deal with Usyk and not focus on just money, which you can argue is the main reason why he wants the Fury fight so bad.

It shouldn’t be a big deal for Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn to set up a fight with Usyk in February or March next year, and then schedule the Fury match for June or July. That’s easy to do.

Usyk heard cheering from Haye and Bellew

Image: Usyk says Joshua must fight him next or vacate WBO title

“I heard the voices of David Haye and Tony Bellew. It was not distracting because I was listening,” Usyk said about him not being distracted by the instructions that Haye and Bellew were barking at Chisora during the fight.

“Joshua, have a good day, have a good week, have a good month, okay,” Usyk said in sending a message to Joshua.

Chisora, 36, wasn’t talented enough to follow Bellew, and Haye’s orders were barking at him. So, in the end, it was a waste of their time in trying to encourage Chisora to do things that his body and his limited skill set wouldn’t permit him to do.

Chisora is a good fringe level contender, but he’s not a top 10-level heavyweight, and he wasn’t going to be able to do the things that Haye and Bellew wanted him to do last Saturday night.

It’s not the end of the road for Chisora. He can come again, as long as he’s matched right. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn needs to focus on getting Chisora fights against some of the lower bottom-ranked contenders like Charles Martin and Tom Schwarz.

If Chisora can beat those guys, he’ll put himself in position for a world title fight in a year or two.

Oleksander reacts to fans thinking Chisora won

“We saw with our own eyes what happened last night,” Usyk said to IFL TV when told some fans thought Chisora won. “People always say what they wanted to take place. Sometimes they don’t like the reality as it is.

Image: Usyk says Joshua must fight him next or vacate WBO title

“The reality will not always be like they want it to, and neither will it always be like we wanted it to be.

“He performed exactly as we expected,” Usyk said of Chisora. “He was dirty, he was strong, he was powerful and exactly the same way we expected him to be. I think he did because I feel it right now.

“My back, my ribs, some parts of my body I feel real pain and some cuts around the body,” Usyk said when asked if Chisora hurt him during the fight.

“This time, I stepped in front of a monster,” Usyk said in comparing his fight against Chisora with his previous one against Chazz Witherspoon. ”

There were a lot of frustrated Chisora fans last Saturday, and that’s obviously the reason why many of them are having a difficult time coming to terms with his loss. But it’s not going to help them deny what happened against Chisora.

He lost the fight, and he would likely lose to Usyk again if they fought a rematch, which they obviously will never do.