Oleksandr Usyk waiting for ‘step aside’ to let Joshua vs. Fury fight for WBO belt
By Scott Gilfoid: Oleksandr Usyk and his promoter Alexander Krassyuk are pumping the brakes on a fight against Joe Joyce for the interim WBO heavyweight title until they find out if they’re going to be given a step-aside payment to clear the way for Anthony Joshua to face Tyson Fury for the undisputed championship.
Well, apparently Hearn hasn’t made a step aside offer to Usyk for him to step aside. If Usyk isn’t going to be given a step aside payment for Joshua to go ahead and face Fury, why do it?
There’s no gain for Usyk to step aside for free to take a risky fight against Joyce in what, for all intents and purposes, is a WBO title eliminator.
With all the good cash that Joshua and Fury are going to be making for their clash in early 2021, Usyk wants to wet his beak on some of that green, and he deserves it. The only question is how much should Usyk get?
How much should Usyk get for his step aside?
$5 million would seem like a fair price for Usyk to receive to step aside, given that he’s basically losing out on that kind of money by not getting a mandatory title shot against Joshua.
Usyk would have to wait an entire year to face the winner of the two Joshua vs. Fury fights, which will be consuming all of 2021. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk is not a young lad, a fighter that can afford to throw away a year of his career waiting on Joshua and Fury to fight twice.
“Usyk has never received any serious offernor anyone approached him with the offer to ‘step aside,'” said Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk to Sky Sports News.
“Now is the best time for the AJ vs Fury fight promoters to make Usyk a serious offereither to fight the WBO champion or to step aside and fight for the interim.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been quite vocal in recent weeks about wanting Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) to clear a path for IBF/WBA/WBO champion AJ to face WBC champ Fury for all four titles.
Hearn wants Usyk to fight the hulking 6’6″, 258-pound Joe Joyce (12-0, 10 KOs) for the interim WBO heavyweight title while Joshua and Fury have the full WBO strap at stake for their clash in the first half of the year.
The winner of the Joyce vs. Usyk fight would become the full WBO champion AFTER Joshua faces Fury.
Usyk needs to give his consent
Hearn has even gone so far as to say that he doesn’t believe that Usyk, 33, would want to stand in the way of such an important fight like Joshua vs. Fury. He feels that Usyk will do the right thing in the end and step aside.
“I know that the WBO in general and its president Paco Valcarcel, in particular, will never violate the rules of its organization and sanction the major fight without Usyk’s consent,” said Krasskyuk.
Usyk’s promoter Krassyuk goes on to say that the World Boxing Organization sent him a letter, letting him know that they’re thinking of sanctioning the Fury vs. Joshua fight for the WBO title.
Also, Krassyuk says he was given a call by promoter George Warren to discuss him promoting Usyk’s fight against Joye for the interim WBO strap in early 2021.
If Usyk isn’t going to be given a step aside payment by Joshua, it makes no sense for him to clear the way for him to fight Fury. Heck, it would be better for Usyk to dig in his heels and wait for Joshua to vacate his WBO title like he and Hearn have been talking about doing if he fails to step aside.
At least once that happens, it would make Usyk’s fight against Joyce a bigger event because they could advertise the WBO belt being at stake rather than the interim WBO strap.
It could make a big difference in the promotion of the Usyk vs. Joyce fight having the full WBO belt up for grabs.
Hearn can solve the WBO problem easily
If Hearn and Joshua gives Usyk a respectable step aside amount, all of their concerns about the WBO belt could be solved in an instant. Of course, if Joshua and Hearn don’t want to give Usyk a step aside, they can vacate the WBO belt.
They can easily set up a fight against the eventual winner of the WBO belt between Usyk and Joyce in 2022. I mean, it’s not going to be the end of the world if Joshua’s two fights against Fury doesn’t have all four titles on the line, will it?
The only ones that will be upset about that are Hearn and Joshua, who for some reason feel that having four titles on the line than just three validates the fight with Fury.
It doesn’t make sense for Usyk to step aside for the Joshua – Fury fight unless he’s going to be given the same kind of dough that he would be getting if he were challenging AJ for the WBO strap.
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