Filip Hrgovic won’t step aside for Usyk vs. Fury says Eddie Hearn

By Boxing News - 11/13/2022 - Comments

By Sam Volz: IBF mandatory Filip Hrgovic won’t step aside to allow the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk undisputed clash to go ahead, says Eddie Hearn.

Hearn says Usyk won’t be able to ask the International Boxing Federation for an exception to allow him to fight Fury.

The 30-year-old Hrgovic (15-0, 13 KOs) wants his title shot against IBF heavyweight champion Usyk, and he’s not going to clear the way for him to face WBC champion Fury first.

Team Usyk hasn’t yet verbalized whether they’ll vacate the IBF title to swerve Hrgovic. If Usyk does give up the belt, Hrgovic will fight the next highly-ranked contender Andy Ruiz Jr, and if he rejects the match, Anthony Joshua would come after.

Given how dangerous Hrgovic is, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’d wind up facing #6 Martin Bakole for the vacant IBF belt if no one wants to fight him.

It’s understandable why Hrgovic insists on taking the fight with Usyk next because he matches up better against him than he would against Fury.

There’s the possibility that if Usyk were to face Fury, he would lose, and the IBF title would be vacated by the Gypsy King because he would either retire or look for a more lucrative fight against Anthony Joshua. Fighting the 6’6″ Hrgovic would be hard work for Fury with little to gain.

The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Hrgovic defeated Zhilei Zhang in an IBF title eliminator last August in a grueling affair.

“This is the request of the team, and want to have immediate purse bids. That’s within the rules of the IBF, and that means you cannot get an exception,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about the IBF ordering IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to defend against his mandatory Filip Hrgovic.

It’ll be interesting to see if Usyk decides to take the fight with Hrgovic or vacate his IBF belt to fight Fury next. If he does, there’s a high probability that he’ll lose. Hrgovic has the power and size to give the 35-year-old Usyk problems, and he’s considerably younger at 30.

“So the only way you can get an exception is if Filip Hrgovic says he’s willing to give an exception, and he doesn’t want to give an exception because he wants to fight for a world title,” said Hearn.