WBC Backs Anthony Joshua to Fight for Undisputed Next Against Fury vs. Usyk winner

By Jamie Eskdale - 03/13/2024 - Comments

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says his organization is in favor of #1 ranked contender Anthony Joshua challenging the winner of the May 18th undisputed heavyweight championship fight between WBC belt-holder Tyson Fury and IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk.

Rematch Clauses: A Plague on Boxing

The World Boxing Council can only suggest that the Fury vs. Usyk winner face Joshua, but due to their contract, they can’t force the fight.

Fury-Usyk’s contract includes a rematch clause for their May 18th fight, and Fury has said that Turki Alalshikh told him they’d fight twice. Unless Turki changes his mind, Joshua (28-3, 25 KOs) will need to wait on the sidelines until the smoke clears from those two matches.

It’s a shame that the two heavyweight champions, Fury and Usyk, put a rematch clause in the contract for their fight because they both hold belts. It’s not as if this is a voluntary title defense when rematch clauses are usually part of the deal.

Ideally, rematch clauses must be eliminated permanently because they ruin the sport by forcing boxing fans to see two fights, the second often unnecessary.

“The WBC was presented with a sanction request to fight for the undisputed. The WBC accepted that sanctioning, and we accepted the rematch they requested,” said Sulaiman to Sky Sports. “ButĀ if it is not anything to do with contractual or promotion, we would absolutely accept the winner [of Fury vs. Usyk] to fight Joshua.”

Saudi Arabia Holds the Key

Ultimately, it’ll be up to the Saudis to decide whether they want Joshua to fight the winner of the May 18th fight. They have the financial media to persuade the loser of the Fury-Usyk fight to step aside to allow Joshua to battle the winner.

The loser of that fight won’t create too much of a fuss if His Excellency makes it worthwhile to them with step-aside money. One can imagine that Fury might be difficult for the Saudis to deal with if he loses to Usyk on May 18th, as he won’t step aside easily.

The Gypsy King’s huge ego would take a huge hit in a loss to Usyk, and he certainly will want to try and avenge the loss as fast as possible to show the fans that he was just an off night for him or he was fighting with an undisclosed injury.