WBO orders Oleksander Usyk vs. Joe Joyce for interim title
By Barry Holbrook: the WBO has ordered Oleksandr Usyk and Joe Joyce for the interim heavyweight title, a move which will clear the way for IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua and WBC champ Tyson Fury to fight for the undisputed championship this summer.
Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) is already the WBO mandatory, but the World Boxing Organization has decided to let Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) temporarily sidestep the fight to and Fury can battle for the undisputed championship in June.
The Joshua vs. Fury first fight winner is expected to vacate the WBO title shortly after the fight. At that point, the Usyk-Joyce will be upgraded to the new WBO champion.
The management for Fury and Joshua are still working on finishing up the contracts for their fight.
Matchroom boss Hearn announced the WBO ordering the Usyk vs. Joyce fight a day ago on Wednesday. That fight still needs to be negotiated, and it’s believed that one will go to a purse bid.
Hearn didn’t mention whether Usyk, 33, is getting paid a step aside fee for him t be bypassed. If the WBO ordered the Usyk vs. Joyce match without the Ukrainian fighter getting a step aside fee, one could see how that would be surprising.
Usyk is due for his title shot against Joshua, but the WBO rules on these matters.
Understandably, Usyk wasn’t interested in stepping aside initially, as the money he’ll get and the notoriety from facing Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) is less than what he would be getting if he were to challenge WBO champion Joshua for his belt.
It’s unclear how Usyk and his management feel about the WBO ordering him to face the 6’6″ Joyce rather than him getting a chance to challenge Joshua for the title.
Although the winner of the Usyk vs. Joyce fight will soon be the full WBO champion, it’s not the same thing as it would be for Usyk to take on AJ straightaway.
There’s a huge amount of attention from the boxing world in the Joshua vs. Fury undisputed fight, especially from boxing fans in the UK. It’s believed Joshua-Fury is the biggest heavyweight match in British boxing history.
This fight means a lot to the fans, and there’s a great deal of excitement about it. Fury and Joshua are the best of the best, and the winner of the contest will be viewed as the #1 heavyweight on the planet.
Joshua vs. Fury still needs to wait on the outcome of former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s attempt to force his contractually mandated trilogy match against Fury.
The matter with Usyk is done with for Joshua, but we still need to find out if Fury can be given the all-clear to bypass his third fight with Wilder. If Fury has to take that fight, it will delay the Joshua unification match unless ‘The Gypsy King’ decides to ignore the mediator’s ruling.
Fury defeated Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) by a seventh-round knockout last February to win his WBC title. They were supposed to meet in the third fight in 2020, but the fight’s scheduling was slowed because of various issues.
- Joe Joyce: ‘Hurry up AJ make the fight, so I can beat Usyk up’
- Daniel Dubois wants to fight Dillian Whyte one day
- Tyson Fury questions Oleksandr Usyk’s ability to beat the top heavyweights
- Tony Bellew: Usyk beats everyone but Joshua and Fury