Tyson Fury’s Next Challenger? Frank Sanchez Lines Up a Shot

By Michael Collins - 03/15/2024 - Comments

WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury could soon face the difficult task of defending his title against the talented Cuban Frank Sanchez, who is looking to position himself to challenge for the belt.

WBC Sets the Stage

Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) will fight IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed championship on May 18th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The World Boxing Council plans to set Fury’s next mandatory challenger with #2 Frank Sanchez (24-0, 17 KOs) to battle #4 Agit Kabayel (24-0, 16 KOs) in a WBC title eliminator.

Whoever emerges as the winner of the Sanchez vs. Kabayel clash will be able to make a lot of money, challenging for the WBC title against whoever is the last man standing in the series of fights between Fury, Usyk, and Anthony Joshua.

Sanchez’s Team Ready, Fury Less So

“For our part, we are 100 percent trying to make the fight versus Kabayel,” Frank Sanchez’s co-manager Mike Borao told Sky Sports News. “Both fighters had fantastic performances in Saudi Arabia, so it’s a natural fight to make with the added bonus of the eliminator being called by the WBC.

“This is likely the quickest route to a world title for both fighters,” Barao continued about the Sanchez vs. Kabayel contest. “Kabayel looked magnificent against Makhmudov, but Frank wants to be world champion, so he is willing to face a tough challenge in Kabayel.”

Fury will likely vacate the WBC title if the sanctioning body attempts to force his hand to face Sanchez. That’s a difficult fight for Fury, who, at this point in his career, seems more focused on making as much money as possible before he hangs up his gloves.

It’ll be interesting to see how long the WBC allows Fury or whoever holds their title to avoid facing the winner of the Sanchez vs. Kabayel clash.

Fury has two fights lined up with Usyk, and it’s reported that His Excellency Turki Al-Alshikh, is interested in setting up two clashes between Tyson and Joshua. Under that scenario, we might see the Sanchez-Kabayel winner having to wait until 2026 before they get a title shot.