By William Lloyd: Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksander Usyk 2 rematch winner will be looking at the very real possibility of needing to defend against their WBA mandatory Robert Helenius next rather than facing WBC champion Tyson Fury or whoever has that belt by then.
It’s expected that the World Boxing Association will order the winner of the Joshua-Usyk II fight to defend against the ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) next.
Helenius destroyed Adam Kownacki by a sixth round knockout on October 9th in a WBA title eliminator on the undercard of the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III card in Las Vegas.
The WBA is likely to move quickly to order the fight between the Joshua vs. Usyk 2 winner to face Helenius rather than waiting around until after they face Fury or Dillian Whyte, whichever of those two are holding the WBC belt.
“Right now we are focused on the WBA mandatory position,” Helenius’ manager Markus Sundman told Sky Sports.
“Robert fought a WBA elimination bout in March 2020 against Adam Kownacki, and he placed a stamp on that victory in the rematch on October 9.”
“Usyk should really be Robert’s next bout. There is no more deserving challenger in the WBA. Charr, Bryan, Dubois, are they more deserving? I think not.”
Poor Fury. He’s looking at the possibility of needing to defend his WBC title against his WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte after he pulled out of his October 30th fight on Thursday, complaining of having a shoulder injury.
Fans aren’t buying the injury excuse, and they think Whyte got cold feet when he realized that a loss to Wallin would mean he would no longer be the WBC mandatory.
Once the World Boxing Council said stated recently that the mandatory challenger will be next for WBC champion [Fury] if he’s unable to set up an undisputed fight against IBF/WBA/WBO champion Usyk, it was only a matter of time before Whyte pulled out of his risky fight with Wallin.
It’s surprising that Whyte didn’t pull out of the fight last week after the WBC revealed that the mandatory can now challenge for the title if not unification match with Usyk is taking place.
It’s inconvenient obviously for Joshua or Usyk and the boxing public that they may need to wait for the undisputed clash until after Helenius gets his mandated title shot, but that’s the downside of champions holding so many titles.
It leaves little time for them to make the important matches that the fans want to see and that make them the most money. That’s why it’s pointless for fighters to capture more than one title and hold onto it.
There’s nothing wrong with champions fighting other champions, but holding onto the titles becomes a burden when it’s more than one.
It’s not worth it because the casual boxing fans are totally unaware of a champion trying to become the undisputed champ, and the hardcore fans just want to see good fights. Collecting belts from weak champions doesn’t mean much.