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Frank Warren says Joe Joyce vs. Oleksandr Usyk to be final eliminator

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Joe Joyce

By Barry Holbrook: Promoter Frank Warren says he’s working on a fight between Joe Joyce and Oleksandr Usyk for the interim WBO heavyweight title.

The winner of the Usyk vs. Joyce fight is expected to be elevated to the full WBO champion after the first Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fight.

WBO mandatory Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) has decided to step aside to let the Joshua – Fury fight take place ahead of his title shot. What’s unclear is if Matchroom has given Usyk, 33, a step aside fee to get him out of the way.

The good news is, IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion AJ and WBC champ Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) will have all four titles at stake for their undisputed championship fight in June.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Edie Hearn turned out to be correct with his prediction that the WBO mandatory Usyk wouldn’t get in the way of the Joshua vs. Fury fight.

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Joe Joyce

“We’ve got Usyk and Joyce, that looks like it’s going to be put out as a final eliminator, so I’m working on that,” said Warren to Seconds Out.

So, Usyk and Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) will fight for the interim WBO heavyweight title.  The winner of the fight will eventually be made the full WBO champion, which should give them a better bargaining position for a future fight against the winner or loser of the two Fury vs. Joshua fights.

Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) will likely be still interested in winning world titles after finishing up his second fight with Fury, as he values world titles. It’s unknown what Fury will do, though, because he’s less impressed with titles. He

We’re working on at the moment Usyk vs. Joe Joyce. I think the WBO will order that for an interim title fight,” Warren said to iFL TV.

“So we’re working hard to make that happen. It’s one of the fights that we’re working with Joe [Joyce], so that’s there to be done.”

This will be a rematch of the 2012 fight between Usyk and Joyce, which the Ukrainian fighter won by a five-round decision. It won’t be as easy now for Usyk, seeing that the 6’6″ Joyce has filled out since the last time they fought.

Joyce weighed 231 lbs for his fight against Usyk in the World Series of Boxing, but now he’s close to 260 lbs.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk was too skilled for Joyce in that fight, but it was only five rounds. We don’t know whether Usyk would have held on to win a 12 round decision.

With the pressure that Joyce was putting on Usyk in the fourth and fifth rounds, it looked like he was wearing him down.

The ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce is coming off a career-best tenth round knockout victory over Daniel Dubois on November 28th. Joyce got the better of Dubois by using his powerful jab as his main offensive tool, which led to his left swelling shut.

Dubois finally took a knee and quit in the tenth, and it was a good thing he did. He suffered a bad eye injury, and he may have saved his career by bowing out when he did.

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