By: Hans Themistode
Oleksandr Usyk just can’t seem to process why there has been so much buzz surrounding the possibility of an undisputed heavyweight contest between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Mainly because he isn’t moving off his WBO mandated title shot.
“Usyk is the WBO mandatory,” said Alexander Krassyuk, the manager of Usyk. “ He never gave his consent for the [Joshua vs Fury] bout to happen without him.”
With a dominant run in the Cruiserweight division, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) recently made the move to the land of the heavies. The Ukrainian has found the much larger men that he’s now routinely facing to be far more challenging. On Halloween night last year, Usyk struggled mightily with the aggression and pressure of fringe contender Dereck Chisora.
Although it was a much more difficult fight than originally expected, Krassyuk isn’t expecting his man to be fighting for anything less than a world title in his next ring appearance.
“Usyk is in good condition now,” explained Krassyuk. “He successfully recovered from his last fight and looks forward to challenging for the title this spring.”
Fighting for a world title is one thing, but facing Anthony Joshua is something else entirely. For years now, Usyk has mentioned Joshua as one of his dream fights. Be that as it may, Joshua could be preoccupied with multiple contests against Tyson Fury.
At the moment, no one has officially offered team Usyk a step aside deal in order for Joshua vs Fury to take place with the undisputed crown on the line. While there have been discussions of placating the former Cruiserweight kingpin, Krassyuk simply hopes that his man’s title aspirations aren’t pushed to the side.
“There were talks about an interim title or the AJ vs Fury winner relinquishing the WBO title the next day [after they fight]. A non-title fight has never been under discussion and I really hope it will never be.”