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Oleksandr Usyk vs. Daniel Dubois negotiations underway

Image: Oleksandr Usyk vs. Daniel Dubois negotiations underway

By Barry Holbrook: Negotiations between IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and his WBA mandatory Daniel Dubois have begun.

(Photo credit: Queensberry Promotions)

On paper, this is a mismatch, given that the 25-year-old Dubois lacks the experience to fight a talented champion like Usyk. This is a tough fight for Dubois, with him coming off a bad knee injury.

Daniel’s mobility was poor before the knee injury, but it will be more challenging for him if he’s had cartilage removed.

In Dubois’ last fight, he barely escaped getting knocked out by the obscure fringe contender Kevin Lerena last December on the undercard of the Tyson Fury vs. Derek Chisora fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.

Dubois (19-1, 18 KOs) has reportedly sent his medical information to the World Boxing Association to show that his recently injured right knee is healed so he can face Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs).

If the 6’5″, 240+ lb Dubois defeats Usyk, it’ll make it much easier to put together the undisputed clash with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury because they share the same promoter in Frank Warren.

In that case, it would b an in-house fight for Warren, and it’s a much more straightforward style for Fury to defeat than the crafty, counter-punching, lightning-quick southpaw Usyk.

Fury initially downgraded Usyk’s ability, calling him a middleweight, but it soon became clear that he wanted nothing to do with fighting him.

Things fell apart when Fury reportedly priced himself out with the Saudis, who were rumored to have offered him $80 million, which he is said to have rejected. It’s unclear how much Fury was expecting to make for the Usyk fight in Saudi Arabia.

If Fury were going by the money Anthony Joshua was given for his rematch with Usyk last August in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, it would make sense for Tyson to be looking for at least the same amount or greater than he got.

The money Fury would have made fighting Usyk at Wembley Stadium in London would have likely been nowhere near what he turned down to fight in Saudi. In other words, Fury made a mess of the Usyk fight from top to bottom, so, unsurprisingly, it didn’t happen.

“Oleksandr Usyk vs. Daniel Dubois negotiations are now underway, Frank Warren tells me. They sent back medical confirmation as requested by the WBA to prove Dubois has recovered from his injury and is fit to be next mandatory for Usyk’s WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight world titles,” said Michael Benson on Twitter.

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