WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk’s manager Alexander Krassyuk believes the contract for his title fight against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua should be finalized this week for a match in September on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Krassyuk confirms that most of the items have already been agreed on for the Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) against the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) and they could be ready to sign off on it this week.
Joshua has chosen to hold onto his WBO title rather than vacating it to go after a more lucrative fight against Andy Ruiz Jr or Dillian Whyte.
Although Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn floated the idea of AJ vacating his WBO strap, he’s chosen to hold onto it so that he can potentially fight the winner of the July 24th trilogy between WBC champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder in December for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
It means a lot to Joshua to try and become the undisputed champion in the weight class.
Unfortunately, the downside of Joshua holding all these belts is he’s being forced to make title defenses against the mandatory challengers that bring very little to the table as far as popularity and money.
Joshua and his promoters at Matchroom Boxing could make many more money fighting guys like Dillian Whyte, Andy Ruiz Jr, Tyson Fury, and Deontay Wilder than can by facing Usyk and Kubrat Pulev.
That’s why it would be a good idea for Joshua to start vacating world titles if he’s successful in becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion in December.
“We hope that we will sign the contract by the end of the week,” Oleksander Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk said to Sky Sports.
“Most of the issues have been coordinated and agreed,” Krassyuk continued about the Joshua vs. Usyk negotiations.
We’ve heard for ages that Joshua’s next fight would be signed off on, and it still hasn’t happened.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, put in a lot of time and effort putting together a site deal for the Joshua-Fury fight in Saudi, only to wind up with nothing after Fury lost his arbitration case with Wilder.
Now, Joshua is stuck with a lackluster title defense against Usyk, who has looked marginal in his two fights since moving up to the heavyweight division in 2019.
“He [Usyk] is so thirsty to become the champ at heavyweight, then proceed to travel to Mars after he collects all the belts!” said Krassyuk.
“There are no visible obstacles to the deal not to take place,” Krassyuk said.
“The aim is to be undisputed,” said Eddie Hearn to Behind The Gloves abut Joshua. “All AJ has done is to box off mandatory fights to keep the belt. How much longer does he have to do that?”