Oleksandr Usyk wants more money for Anthony Joshua fight
By Allan Fox: WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk requests that Eddie Hearn give him more money for his mandated title shot against Anthony Joshua.
It’s still not a certainty that Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) will be challenging IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua, in August, but there’s an excellent chance that he will.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk has been waiting for his mandated title shot as the WBO mandatory for two years.
Tyson Fury’s management has until the end of this week for them to swing a deal with Deontay Wilder to get him to step aside to face Joshua on August 14th as planned.
From what Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) is saying, he’s not going to agree to a step aside deal to let Fury sidestep him. Wilder won his arbitration case with Fury last Monday, and their fight is now expected to take place on July 24th.
That’s if Fury’s promoter Bob Arum chooses not to give Wilder a step aside payment.
Usyk asking for more money
“Eddie, I want money, more money,” said Oleksandr Usyk on Wednesday about him wanting more money for a fight with Joshua.
“The arbitration went with the decision that Fury has to face Wilder for the third time, which gives us the opportunity to make our mandatory after two years of expectations of waiting,” said Usyk’s manager Alex Krassyuk to Boxing UK.
“It was a hunch that this fight [Joshua vs. Fury] wasn’t going to happen before Usyk fought AJ. The possible fight between AJ and Usyk might take place by the end of summer, and probably in July, Fury would have to face Wilder.
So the time is running really fast. I’ve been in touch with Eddie Hearn for the last seven days almost every day. He texted me today, saying that, ‘Let’s speak in an hour because we probably might have a fight to make.’
“Eddie said he’s giving the opportunity for Fury’s people to manage this stuff with Wilder until the end of the week, and if they’re unable to manage it, then AJ would probably have to go with the mandatory [Usyk].
“It’s great news for the promoter because you finally end up with a result. He was due to fight the interim with Joe Joyce.
“Maybe it would have been a regular fight if Usyk-Joyce had taken place after August 14th. Last night it was more likely that Usyk would fight Joyce, but tonight it’s more probable that he fights AJ,” said Krassyuk.
The unfortunate part about Usyk fighting for a world title against Joshua is that he’s not going to get anywhere close to the $75 million that Fury would have made.
Joshua vs. Fury isn’t a big enough match to stage it in Saudi Arabia, but you never know.
Hearn will likely shop the Joshua vs. Usyk fight around to different countries because he can’t stage it at home in the UK due to the government not allowing large crowds.
Oleksander is underestimated, says Krassyuk
“It’s complicated because no one has ever seen Usyk at heavyweight, just one fight with Chisora,” said Krassyuk when asked to predict an outcome for the Joshua vs. Usyk clash.
“I think Usyk is very much underestimated by most of the heavyweights, claiming the size of his body is not enough for a heavyweight.
“But his weight is already over 100 [kilos], which puts him in the same condition as Evander Holyfield, like David Haney. It’s more or less the same. Maybe Muhammad Ali, so it’s very close. I think he has every chance to win the fight against Anthony Joshua.
“I left a message with him [Usyk] this morning, saying, ‘Alex, are you ready to fight AJ?’ And then he called me back. He’s ready.
“If you ask me as a human being, I would choose to make the fight in Kiev at the National Olympic Stadium, which is something that I can do for my country [Ukraine].
“But it doesn’t seem likely to happen. Of course, the UK is a great boxing world. The UK is a separate boxing world because the fans are fantastic, the crowd is absolutely fantastic.
“The attitude to boxing is very different than other countries, and the recognition is at the top level. So fighting in the UK is a great honor, a great pleasure.
“It’s something that is on another level. I don’t mind coming to England. Its only positive vibes,” said Krassyuk.
There’s a good reason why the boxing public and the fighters underestimate Usyk. He’s shown in his two fights at heavyweight that he can’t punch and is vulnerable to getting hit.
In Usyk’s last fight against Derek Chisora, he really struggled and barely won last year in October. That’s a fight that Usyk would have lost had Chisora not run out of gas in the championship rounds.
Wilder won’t step aside for Joshua-Fury
“The deadline is at the end of the week,” said Krassyuk. “I don’t believe Wilder will be willing to step aside because it’s a matter of his character as a warrior because he needs to prove something.
“If he just takes the money and steps aside, it would make him look like a coward like he’s done in boxing. It doesn’t mean anything serious.
“It’s not a matter of money, it’s a matter of heritage. He has to take the revenge. As he already stated on social media, he wants blood. It means this guy is really focused on the Fury fight.
“If he is focused, Fury has, according to the arbitration decision, he has to give him the third fight. As Bob Arum said, it might take place in Las Vegas on the 28th of July or something like that or the 24th.
“So we will probably move up with Eddie to make a deal with AJ and Usyk. Let’s say it takes place in the middle of August, replacing the fore existing date.
“Wilder can ruin all that [Joshua vs. Fury], COVID can ruin all that. It’s boxing, nothing is determined here 100%. But if you ask me, I would love to see the undisputed heavyweight championship.
“Fury and AJ? It’s a 50-50 fight. That’s why they have a two-fight deal,” said Krassyuk.
The element of surprise is gone for Fury, as the game plan that he used the last time he fought Wilder may not work this time. Coming forward, roughing him up, clubbing him in the back of the head took him by surprise.
Wilder now knows that Fury will be taking the fight to him in the trilogy, so he’ll be mentally prepared t see him going on the attack with his looping punches that he likes to throw.
You can never say never, but it’s not looking good for the Joshua vs. Fury fight. It’s up to Fury’s promoters at Top Rank. If they’re willing to find the money to pay Wilder to step aside, they can salvage the Joshua-Fury fight.
But if they’re going to be cheap about it, they’ll miss out and have gambled that Fury will be able to beat Wilder in their trilogy fight in July.
This could be a big mistake on Top Rank’s part because Fury hasn’t been taking care of himself physically in the last year and a half.
The 32-year-old Fury has gotten really fat around the midsection, and he looks physically like he’s aged since the last time he fought Wilder. That kind of stuff happens when a person doesn’t take care of themselves.
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