By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn wants Oleksandr Usyk to fight Joe Joyce for the interim WBO heavyweight title so that Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury can battle for the undisputed championship.
The Joshua vs. Fury fight winner would then immediately vacate the WBO belt, which would result in the Usyk – Joyce winner becoming the new WBO heavyweight champion.
Oleksandr would be risking his WBO mandatory spot by taking on Joyce, and he wouldn’t get his guaranteed title shot against Joshua. Hearn’s dumb idea is to ask Usyk to give up his WBO mandatory spot to take a risky fight with Joe Joyce.
Joshua needs to vacate the WBO title
If Anthony Joshua lacks the confidence to face his WBO mandatory Usyk, he needs to vacate the title. It’s as simple as that.
Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) will likely laugh at Hearn’s offer for him to face Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) for the interim WBO title because it’s a joke. Firstly, the money that Usyk will make fighting Joyce be nowhere near what he would get facing Joshua as the mandatory challenger.
More importantly, there’s a huge amount of risk for Usyk, who small for a heavyweight, to take on the 6’6″, 258-pound Joyce for the interim WBO belt. Yes, Usyk beat Joyce eight years ago by a five-round decision in the World Series of Boxing.
That was a long time ago when Joyce weighed only 231-pounds, and he wasn’t the fighter he is today.
Even then, Usyk’s face was badly swollen at the end of the five-round fight. If that had been a 12-round fight, Usyk might have been worn down and stopped by Joyce, who was battering the tired Ukrainian in the fourth and fifth rounds.
The fight had changed hands at the end. With the added size and the improvements Joyce has made to his game, Usyk would be too small to beat him now.
Until Usyk was going to make massive money for the fight with Joyce, it makes no sense for him to agree to Hearn’s deal to agree to face him for the interim WBO title.
No step aside for Usyk?
There’s no mention of Usyk being given a step aside fee so that the Joshua – Fury fight can take place in the first half of 2021. Basically, Usyk is being told to buzz off by Hearn because he’s not getting a fight against Joshua.
Usyk should be given a massive step aside deal to let the Joshua vs. Fury fights occur, as he’s already been bypassed twice. With the kind of money Joshua and Fury will be making for both of their fights, why shouldn’t Usyk be able to wet his beak in some of that dough?
It makes sense for Usyk to ask for an eight-figure step aside, given the kind of money that Joshua and Fury will be making for each fight. It’s being talked about AJ and Fury will be getting $100 million EACH for both fights.
At the end of their two-fight rivalry, they’ll walk away with $200 million. All that, and Usyk gets bypassed and no step aside.
Usyk still won’t be getting a fight against the winner of the Joshua vs. Fury 1 fight, as they plan on vacating the WBO title right away.
Yeah, Usyk would be the new WBO champion, but that wouldn’t mean anything because he wouldn’t be getting the chance to fight Joshua or Fury.
You got to believe that Joshua and Fury fight twice by the time they’ll have no interest in returning to win back the WBO title. Why would they?
No guarantees Joshua vs. Fury winner ever fights Usyk
The winner of the two Joshua-Fury fights would hold three of the belts, and they would have already captured the WBO title in the recent past. Joshua and Fury will make so much money from their two fights; predictably, they’ll retire afterward.
How would they find the motivation for their respective careers when they have a quarter of a billion dollars in their bank accounts?
What makes it even more likely that Joshua and Fury both retire is that they’ll far less money for their fights against other heavyweights like Usyk.
When you’re making $100 million per fight, it’s got to be tough to suddenly see that drop off to $10 million for a risky match against the likes of Usyk.
Why go back for a belt that you already had? Fury has already shown disinterest in the past in wanting to fight for belts that he previously held after he beat IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.
Usyk is Joshua’s WBO mandatory challenger, and he’s already been TWICE bypassed for his title shot.
Secondly, Usyk was passed up for the Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr II rematch in December 2019, and then last December, Usyk was bypassed for the AJ vs. Kubrat Pulev fight.
The average boxing fan hopes that Usyk will give up his quest to get his mandated title shot for the WBO belt, as they want to see Joshua and Fury fight for the undisputed championship.
It doesn’t matter to them that Usyk will be trampled underfoot with him losing his guaranteed title shot for the WBO belt by letting Joshua face Fury.
But it’s a rotten deal for Usyk if he agrees to step aside for the Fury vs. Joshua fight unless he’s given an eight-figure step aside fee.