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IBF Gives The Okay For Oleksandr Usyk To Face Tyson Fury

Posted on 01/09/2023

By: Sean Crose

“We’ve sent them a draft contract, that’s where we’re at,” talkSport quotes Tyson Fury promoter Frank Warren as saying. “Listen, it’s gotta be sorted out very, very quickly now because the time is against us.” Warren was referring to the negation process between team Fury and team Oleksandr Usyk. A fight between the two heavyweight titlists would most likely lead to there finally being an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. This being contemporary boxing, however, such megafights are far from easy to make. “It’s previously been mentioned that March 4 is the desired date for the fight,” wrote talkSport.

March is important for the promoter because it will allow Fury to fight again in the fall. “I want to get the fight on in March and so will Tyson,” claimed Warren. “We just want to get it on in March and that’ll set them up for another big fight in the autumn.” As for where the first fight might be held, Warren simply stated: “Wherever the most money comes from. “Nothing’s in place from anywhere outside the UK.” With that being said, Warren made it clear that UK fans might be disappointed if the fight ended up going elsewhere.

“I know a lot of people complain about it and I agree it should be at Wembley, I’d love to see it there,” he said. “But Muhammad Ali and George Foreman went and fought in Zaire, then you had the the Thrilla in Manilla, you had the big fights in Jamaica.” Warren emphasized the fact that some of boxing’s legends weren’t afraid to travel. “They went where the money was,” he added, “and these guys will do the same thing.”

In what might well prove to be very good news for those hoping for an undisputed heavyweight champion being crowned in 2023, the IBF on Monday removed its demand that its divisional champion Usyk fight Filip Hrgovic next. This is somewhat surprising as the IBF – to it’s credit – is generally quite strict when it comes to its titlists having to fight their mandatories. No doubt the heft (no pun intended) of possibly having an undisputed divisional champion came in to play before its decision was made.

In truth there hasn’t been an undisputed heavyweight king since Lennox Lewis in 2000. That’s close to a quarter century without a clear champion in the division, though the Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, separately held all of the major heavyweight titles between them simultaneously for some time after that.

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