IBF heavyweight mandatory Filip Hrgovic suffered a setback today with the International Boxing Federation rescinding their order for champion Oleksandr Usyk to defend against him next, which now allows the undisputed fight with WBC champ Tyson Fury to potentially take place in March.
IBF president Daryl People based his decision to cancel the order for Hrgovic to challenge Usyk next due to the WBA being next in the rotation system for mandatory defenses, meaning that Daniel Dubois, in theory, is next up to challenge for the title.
Dubois is promoted by Queensbury, the same company that Fury, and they’re already planning on the Fury-Usyk undisputed championship taking place in March.
Dubois will get his shot against the winner. If they vacate the WBA title, it’s likely that Dubois will be elevated from his position as the ‘regular’ champion to the full champ.
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren has already said that he’s interested in facing Joe Joyce after his fight with Usyk, provided he comes out victorious in that match.
What this means is the WBA belt could be sacrificed by Fury so that he can face the unbeaten WBO interim champion Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs).
Breaking: IBF rescinds Usyk-Hrgovic mandatory order. Hrgovic team was fighting hard for purse bid to be scheduled, which was the point of no return. Now won’t be sked, a big hurdle to clearing way for undisputed fight vs. Fury. Dubois rights protected but he won’t be next. pic.twitter.com/BqMvryg1q4
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) January 9, 2023
Hrgovic’s promoter Eddie Hearn is probably hopping mad right now at learning of the news of the International Boxing Federation’s decision to cancel their prior order for the Usyk-Hrgovic fight.
Last November, the IBF ordered champion Usyk to begin negotiations with mandatory Hrgovic. Shortly after, Hrgovic chose to bypass the negotiations and go straight into a purse bid.
It’s unclear how long Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs) will need to wait before he eventually gets his mandated shot at the IBF crown.
It would be a shame if Hrgovic is forced to wait until 2024 or even 2025 before he finally fights for the belt.
Hrgovic is coming off a grueling 12 round unanimous decision win over Zhang Zhilei last August in a fight that was razor-close. Zhang had Hrgovic hurt in the fight, and some boxing fans believe he deserved the win.
If Hrgovic is forced to wait until 2024 or 2025 before he gets his title shot at the IBF belt, he’s going to need to be carefully matched by his promoters because if they put him in with someone a little too good, he could lose.