Usyk’s Reign as Undisputed Champion To End Prematurely

By Tim Compton - 05/20/2024 - Comments

Oleksandr Usyk’s stint as undisputed heavyweight champion will likely end within the next two weeks, and his IBF title will be stripped or vacated. Usyk (22-0, 14 KOs) has only been undisputed champion since last Saturday when he defeated Tyson Fury in Riyadh.

The IBF mandatory is Filip Hrgovic, who is waiting for his overdue title shot. Usyk will not fight him because he has a rematch clause for his fight with Tyson Fury.

Of course, Fury could choose not to activate his rematch clause, allowing Usyk to potentially keep his four belts, but Tyson likely won’t make his decision before Hrgovic’s next fight on June 1st. That’s when the IBF belt is expected to be on the line.

IBF Title on the Line for Hrgovic vs. Dubois

Hrgovic’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, says that unless an agreement can be made that will allow Usyk to keep his IBF title, he’ll lose it. It’ll be at stake for Hrgovic’s match against Daniel Dubois on June 1st at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.

“The IBF probably, knowing how they will, today or tomorrow, will issue the mandatory obligations to Oleksandr Usyk because it’s quite clear that Hrgovic is waiting for that mandatory. This fight [Tyson Fury vs. Usyk] was allowed on the basis that the winner would have to fight Filip Hrgovic, which everybody knew wasn’t going to be the case,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing.

“So, unless there’s an agreement between everybody, it’s very likely that the IBF belt will free up and it’ll free up for June 1st, and that will be on the line [for Hrgovic vs. Daniel Dubois in Riyadh]. We’ll see.

“In this situation where you have an undisputed champion, mandatory obligations are just by and by. You saw it with Crawford [getting stripped of his IBF title when he opted not to fight mandatory Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis]. Unless you’re willing to fight your mandatories consecutively, it’s very difficult to keep hold of all the belts,” said Hearn.

Last Updated on 05/20/2024