Oleksandr Usyk remains open to an undisputed world title fight as he awaits confirmation of Tyson Fury’s next career move, says the Ukrainian star’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk.
WBC champion Fury has been ordered to make a mandatory title defence against Dillian Whyte, with purse bids expected to be scheduled later this week after both fighters were unable to agree terms.
Anthony Joshua has activated a clause for a rematch with Usyk, although a date and venue are yet to be confirmed, and the unified champion is keeping his options open, including a clash with Fury.
“Since November – not much has changed,” said Usyk’s promoter Krassyuk, when asked about a potential next fight.
Although both Usyk and Fury appear keen to face each other, a unification bout between the two champions would appear to hinge on both of them coming through their next fight.
While there are hurdles to overcome in finalising Fury’s match-up with Whyte and Usyk’s rematch with Joshua, both fights appear likely to go ahead in the coming months.
Fury’s promoter Bob Arum said in November that his fighter would prefer to face Usyk than Whyte, suggesting that if Joshua had opted not to activate the rematch clause, a unification fight could have been made.
“The fight we would like to make is between Usyk and Fury,” Arum said. “That is a fight to unify the titles once and for all.
“Then Joshua can fight the winner of the undisputed fight.
“Whyte can stand in line and fight the winner ultimately.
“That’s what Tyson would like. And I represent Tyson. That is his preference.”
Fury, meanwhile, has questioned the merits of taking the rematch for Joshua, suggesting that his fellow Brit has little hope of regaining his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.
“He hasn’t got the bottle to fight Usyk again,” Fury said of Joshua.
“Usyk will smash him. Never mind beating him on points – he’d knock him out.”
However, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has shot down that suggestion: “AJ is already in camp physically and mentally for the Usyk rematch, and it’s all he has thought about since the night of the first fight.”