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Bob Arum wants to sign Oleksandr Usyk

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Artur Beterbiev

By Matt Lieberman: Bob Arum of Top Rank says he’d like to sign heavyweight contender Oleksandr Usyk to his stable now that he’s out of contract with Matchroom Boxing. Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) is someone that Arum would be happy to sign if possible.

Usyk is the WBO mandatory challenger to heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, but AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn has no desire to let him take that fight right now.

Until recently, Usyk was also promoted by Hearn, but that didn’t help him get a title shot against Joshua. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk was no better off than if a rival promotional company promoted him.

It would be beneficial for Usyk to sign with Arum to help him get a title shot against Tyson Fury, who figures to the last man standing in his two-fight deal with Joshua.

Fury is less likely to try and dodge Usyk for years, which some fans believe Joshua has done with Usyk.

Oleksandr Usyk on Arum’s target list

“He’s out of his contract with Matchroom,” said Arum to Barbershop Conversations about Oleksandr Usyk. “The only contract he has with Matchroom is they make him a Joshua fight.

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Artur Beterbiev

“Otherwise, he’s free. So his manager Egis Klimas, the same manager as [Vasily] Lomachenko and a lot of the other fighters that fight for me, I would love to have Usyk as part of my group,” said Arum about his desire t sign Usyk.

Adding Usyk to the Top Rank stable would give Arum an important fighter to mix and match and target one of the titles once they’re freed up.

Arum is in a better position to give Usyk the sourly missing opportunities when he was with Hearn.

If Arum is going to sign Usyk, he’s got to do it soon, considering that he’s getting older. He’ll be turning 34 on January 17th, and he can’t afford to be moved slowly.

Assuming Fury sends Joshua into retirement after beating him twice in 2021, a great fight for ‘The Gypsy’ King’ would be against Usyk in December or early 2022.

Ideally, December would be a better time to make the Fury vs. Usyk fight for obvious reasons. It wouldn’t be good to make Usyk wait another year for him o get his title shot.

Arum wants Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr fight

“That’s a corker of a fight. I’m looking forward to Joe Smith on February 13th, if he beats the Russia [Maxim Vlasov], then I would love to make Joe against [IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur] Beterbiev if he wins his fight [against Adam Deines], that would be a tremendous unification fight,” said Arum.

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Artur Beterbiev

“I’d like Crawford and Spence,’ said Arum about a fight he’d like to make in 2021. “I’m happy, I think it’s going to get made, Fury and Joshua.

“I’m looking forward to, once we get fans, to Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez,” said Arum.

Joe Smith Jr. vs. Artur Beterbiev will be an excellent unification fight for 2021, provided that the two fighters win their next fights.

Beterbiev needs to recover from his COVID 19 and then defeat Adam Deines once that match is rescheduled.

Smith (26-3, 21 KOs) will be battling Maxim Vlasov (45-3, 26 KOs) for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title on February 13th in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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