Oleksandr Usyk vs Joe Joyce In “Preliminary Talks”
By: Hans Themistode
Oleksandr Usyk’s train to a heavyweight world title is apparently about to make an unexpected stop. The former undisputed cruiserweight titlist has long been awaiting his chance at facing unified champion, Anthony Joshua.
With a win in his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) followed that up with another victory against fringe contender Dereck Chisora. While both wins may have allowed him to get acclimated to fights against bigger men, considering he became the WBO’s number one ranked contender the moment he moved up in weight, Usyk never needed to face anyone other than Joshua in his first official contest as a heavyweight.
Still, the former Olympic gold medalist appeared on track to challenge Joshua for his world title. However, both Joshua and WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury are on the verge of papering a two-fight deal, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. With the likelihood of Usyk waiting even longer for his shot at a world title, promoter Frank Warren is currently working on something that would placate the impatient big man.
“We’re working on, at the moment, Usyk and Joe Joyce,” said Warren during an interview with IFL TV. “I think the WBO will order that as an interim-title fight so we’re working hard to make that happen. The situation is that the WBO have said they’d like to do that fight as an eliminator. We have no objection to that and I don’t think Usyk has either. There’s been some preliminary talks and we’ll see where we go from there.”
Joyce, a 2016 Olympic Silver medalist, is currently riding the high associated with the biggest win of his pro career. On November 28th, just last year, Joyce handed highly-touted previously undefeated prospect Daniel Dubois the first defeat of his career via 10th round stoppage.
Despite the win, along with the success he’s obtained during his short career, Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) still has an ax to grind with Usyk. In January of 2013, before either man turned professional, they faced off at the World Series of Boxing. On the night, Usyk dominated his man winning every single round.
Regardless of their previous outcome, Warren views Joyce as a completely different fighter. In addition to that, the long time promoter believes the British native has all of the momentum in the world.
“It’s a good fight and based on his last performance, Joe’s looking really good. It puts the winner in a tremendous position. The eventual winner of the two fights between Tyson and AJ will have to defend against Joyce or Usyk, or vacate the belt.”
Frank Warren’s Open Letter To WBC Head Jose Sulaiman
In the wake of a statement issued by WBC president Jose Sulaiman, in which British fighter Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora was indefinitely banned from fighting and asked to submit to anger management therapy, boxing promoter Frank Warren has published an open letter in SunSport to state his views on the matter:
I wish I could accuse you of having double standards. But I can’t, because I question whether you have any standards at all.
The way you have banned Dereck Chisora indefinitely, without even having the decency to call a hearing to establish the facts surrounding his recent bout against Vitali Klitschko, in my opinion shows you as a posturing, self-righteous egotist.
I learned of your decision through the media. You didn’t even let the British Boxing Board of Control, myself or Dereck know before you spoke to the world’s Press.
In any democracy, any man is innocent until proven guilty. But you appear to have set yourself up as judge, jury and executioner as far as Dereck is concerned.
You have announced an indefinite WBC ban on Dereck without a hearing and you have also said you will impose a ‘serious’ fine after you eventually do hold a hearing.
Again, you have found Chisora guilty without establishing any fact about what truly went on that night in Munich.
Not for one minute am I condoning what happened before the fight or with David Haye at the Press conference after the bout. I also believe boxing needs to discipline boxers who step out of line.
But I am staggered by how you have treated Dereck before you have heard any evidence from his side. It seems to me this is just a matter of convenience for your organisation.
Let me remind you how your organisation has dealt with other instances of indiscipline by boxers who wave the WBC flag.
Antonio Margarito was banned for a year by the California State Athletic Commission following the controversy over his hand wraps in the fight against Shane Mosley. He was accused of using some kind of plaster to make the bandages harder.
Without any WBC hearing, Margarito was then allowed to fight for a minor title in Mexico and made top contender to fight Manny Pacquiao.
Take Floyd Mayweather Jnr’s case, after he was found guilty of physically abusing a girlfriend.
You said the WBC should not touch Mayweather’s career or title as you wanted him to fight Manny Pacquiao.
I would like to remind you of the time you were injured in the brawl that took place between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, when Tyson disgustingly bit Lewis during the Press conference prior to their fight.
You didn’t call for a ban and rang me asking if you should sue those who hosted the conference and broadcast the fight because of the lack of security.
That is one of my issues with the events in Munich. But you don’t seem interested in what actually happened.
If Dereck Chisora was a world champion, would you be taking this stance?