Anthony Joshua undisputed fight with Tyson Fury in doubt AGAIN as Oleksandr Usyk begs WBO to enforce mandatory shotMarch 10, 2021
ANTHONY JOSHUA and Tyson Fury fighting for the undisputed crown could be in doubt again – with Oleksandr Usyk wanting his mandatory title shot.
Joshua, 31, and Fury, 32, are almost set to announce their Battle of Britain, with contracts close to being finalised.
And it looked as though, for the first time in heavyweight history, all four WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF belts would be contested for.
That was after Usyk, 34, agreed to step aside and fight Joe Joyce, 35, for the WBO 'interim' title in the meantime.
But now the Ukrainian's promoter Alexander Krassyuk claimed talks have not progressed and wants the WBO to enforce AJ to fulfil his mandatory.
Krassyuk told Sky Sports: "If AJ vs Fury is not likely to happen this year, or is rescheduled until the end of the year, AJ has to make a mandatory defence against Usyk unless he relinquishes the title.
"The WBO has to gather strength and to make the courageous decision – to order AJ vs Usyk. And that will be the triumph of justice.
"Otherwise boxing will accelerate its decline in popularity due to unfair and preconceived politics."
Usyk received a letter from the WBO in January, which stated their intentions to allow Joshua to face Fury.
And the interim title fight would put him either next in line for a shot or inherit the title if it was to be vacated.
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But Krassyuk appears to believe talks for Usyk to fight Joyce have not moved forward since he first spoke to promoter Frank Warren's son George.
He said: "Usyk cannot make any move as there's no certainty around.
"Usyk is doing well, safe and sound, fit and working hard. And is ready to face whoever the WBO legally nominates.
"But my last conversation regarding Joyce took place in the middle of January.
"I talked to George Warren. Since that time, we have hardly moved anywhere."
Despite the reveal, Adam Moralee of SJAM Boxing – who manages Joyce – assured negotiations with Usyk are ongoing with his manager Egis Klimas.
Moralee said: "I can confirm that SJAM are in conversation with Egis Klimas about the Usyk vs Joyce fight.
"The management teams of the fighters get on well and talks are progressing.
"Frank Warren is looped in across all matters as Joe's promoter of record."
Joshua's goal has always been to become the first four-belt, heavyweight champion.
But his promoter Eddie Hearn warned if all the marbles could not be on the line against Fury, they will still proceed with the fight.
Hearn, alongside the Gypsy King's US backer Bob Arum, both confirmed discussions are entering the final stages before being announced.
But as yet, no date or venue has been nailed on, though amid the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely to be staged abroad.
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