Promoter Frank Warren says he’ll be ready to match Daniel Dubois against Oleksandr Usyk for the WBO heavyweight title if the current belt-holder Anthony Joshua elects to vacate the title or have it stripped from him by choosing not to defend it.
Dubois is rated #2 by the WBO, and Usyk at #1, and it’s looking like this fight could happen if Joshua vacates the strap.
Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) is the WBO mandatory challenger and said last Saturday that he will NOT let Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) swerve him to face WBC champion, Tyson Fury, in early 2021. If Joshua, 30, beats Kubrat Pulev on December 12th, his next fight must be against Usyk if he wants to keep the WBO belt.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing will likely make one last-ditch effort to get Usyk to agree to step aside so that AJ can face Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
“Daniel Dubois is ranked #2 by the WBO now, Usyk is the [WBO] mandatory and Joshua is talking about vacating the title.
“If he does, Daniel will fight Usyk, providing he beats Joyce on Nov 28th. If that fight’s there, I would do that in a heartbeat,” Warren said to Talksport.com.
If Usyk says no to stepping aside for an amount of money, Hearn will likely ask the World Boxing Organisation to order Usyk to sit and wait until 2022 for his title shot. That’s probably not going to happen. It’s more realistic that the WBO let Hearn know that Joshua must face Usyk if he wants to keep his WBO belt.
Dubois (15-0, 14 KOs) will be in a good position to take on Usyk, 33, for the vacant WBO heavyweight title in early 2021, provided that he beats Joe Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs) this month on November 28th.
The 23-year-old Dubois is expected to beat the 35-year-old Joyce to move on and battle for the WBO title if it falls vacant.
“I am the mandatory for Joshua so he has two options. One; to fight me. Two; to vacate and to go and fight Fury. Either he fights me or relinquishes,” said Usyk to Sky Sports News on what Joshua’s options are. “I am waiting. I am ready.”
The question is, would Usyk choose to wait for the winner of the two Joshua vs. Fury contests to face him in 2022? Given the huge amount of risk involved in Usyk facing Dubois for the WBO title, that would be the smarter move by hi to wait.
If Usyk had looked sensational in beating Dereck Chisora last Saturday night, it would make sense for him to face Dubois for the WBO belt if Joshua gives it up. But Usyk struggled against the 36-year-old Chisora, and he barely beat him.
Dubois is arguably a better fighter than Chisora with more power, size, jab and youth going for him. Usyk would have a lot of problems trying to beat the young 6’5″ fighter.