Oleksandr Usyk negotiating with Tyson Fury, Joshua remains options
By Jack Tiernan: Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury have yet to agree to a deal in their ongoing negotiations for the undisputed heavyweight clash for March or April. Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk says that unless an agreement can be reached, they’ll stick with their original plan of facing former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua next.
The Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday that Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) has agreed to a £15m deal to step aside so that WBC champion Fury and IBF/WBA/WBO champion Usyk can battle for the four belts. However, it’s still up in the air whether this will happen.
It doesn’t matter if Joshua is agreeable to step aside for $20 million U.S dollars. If Usyk cannot make a deal with Fury, which doesn’t look good right now, the Ukrainian talent will face Joshua again.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn remains steadfast, saying the goal remains for AJ to recapture his three lost heavyweight titles.
As such, the focus for Joshua is to face the unbeaten Usyk in an immediate rematch to avenge his embarrassing loss from last September.
Hearn thinks he can beat him despite the many boxing fans who believe that the 2012 Olympic gold medalist is washed up and has no chance against Usyk in a second fight.
Joshua did it once, beating Andy Ruiz Jr. in their rematch in December 2019, and Hearn feels confident he’ll do it again.
Fury vs. Usyk negotiations dragging on
Negotiations between Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) and Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) have been dragging on since last November, yet nothing has been decided after all these months. That’s not a good sign, and Usyk may move on and face Joshua.
It might be the better deal for Usyk, as he’s already proven he can beat the struggling 32-year-old former champion. Unless Fury’s management makes it worthwhile for Usyk, his best option is to stick with the original plan to face Joshua in an immediate rematch.
Fury’s 6’9″, 270+ lb size and his mauling bear-like fighting style would be a difficult one for the bulked-up former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk.
That style, taught to Fury by his American trainer Sugarhill Steward, is a throwback to the grappling techniques from spoiling heavyweights in the past.
Joshua is the better option for Usyk’s style than dealing with Fury’s ugly grappling style of fighting, which is more like a mix of MMA, boxing & Greco Roman wrestling.
“We are in talks regarding Tyson Fury since November. Though Anthony Joshua gave his consent, we still have not reached the final point in negotiations. Unless we get it – AJ rematch remains the basic option for us,” said Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk to Sky Sports.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn will be meeting with him on Tuesday to decide which direction they’ll be going in.
“We have a number of proposals and options to discuss. The goal remains the same – to recapture the heavyweight crown,” said Hearn to Sky Sports on his plans to meet with Joshua on Tuesday.
“I’m meeting with AJ and 258 management to go through plans for his next fight,” said Hearn.
As Hearn pointed out recently, money isn’t the issue for Joshua, and he can’t be bought off. He’s got enough money as it is already.
Joshua wants to regain his titles and prove that he’s the best heavyweight in the division. The only way for him to do that is to fight Usyk in an immediate rematch.
The ONLY reason why Joshua might step aside to allow Fury and Usyk to fight would be for the good of the sport, to let the boxing fans see the undisputed match that they’ve been clamoring for since last September.
- Tyson Fury is retired, he doesn’t need time says Eddie Hearn
- WBC president says Tyson Fury will be given more time to decide whether to continue
- Tyson Fury IS retired says SugarHill, “I’m NOT going to say anything different”
- Joshua has “nothing to lose” says Usyk’s promoter