By Jack Tiernan: Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury have yet to agree to a deal in their ongoing negotiations for a undisputed heavyweight clash for March or April. Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk says that unless a deal can be reached, they’ll stick with their original plan of facing former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua next.
The Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday that Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) has agreed to a £15m deal to step aside so that WBC champion Fury and IBF/WBA/WBO champion Usyk can battle for the four belts. However, it’s still up in the air whether this will happen.
It doesn’t matter if Joshua is agreeable to step aside for $20 million U.S dollars. If Usyk is unable to make a deal with Fury, which doesn’t look good right now, the Ukrainian talent will face Joshua again.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn remains steadfast, saying the goal still remains for AJ to recapture his three lost heavyweight titles.
As such, the plan still remains for Joshua to face Usyk in an immediate rematch to avenge his embarrassing loss from last September.
Despite the many boxing fans that believe that the 2012 Olympic gold medalist is washed up, and has no chance against Usyk in a second fight, Hearn believes he can beat him.
Joshua did it once, beating Andy Ruiz Jr. in their rematch in December 2019, and Hearn feels confident he’ll do it again.
Fury vs. Usyk negotiations dragging on
Negotiations between Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) and Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) have been dragging on since last November, yet nothing has been decided after all these months. Obviously, that’s not a good sign, and it’s quite possible that Usyk will move on and face Joshua.
It might be the better deal for Usyk, as he’s already proven he can beat the struggling 32-year-old former champion. Unless Fury’s management makes it worthwhile for Usyk, his best option is to stick with the original plan to face Joshua in an immediate rematch.
Fury’s 6’9″, 270+ lb size and his mauling bear-like fighting style would be a difficult one for the bulked-up former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk.
That style, taught to Fury by his American trainer Sugarhill Steward, is a throwback to the grappling styles from spoiling heavyweights in the past.
Joshua is the better option for Usyk’s style than having to deal with Fury’s ugly grappling style of fighting, which is more like a mix of MMA, boxing & Greco Roman wrestling.
“We are in talks regarding Tyson Fury since November. Though Anthony Joshua gave his consent we still have not reached the final point in negotiations. Unless we get it – AJ rematch remains the basic option for us,” said Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk to Sky Sports.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn will be meeting with him on Tuesday to decide which direction they’ll be going in.
“We have a number of proposals and options to discuss. The goal remains the same – to recapture the heavyweight crown,” said Hearn to Sky Sports on his plans to meet with Joshua on Tuesday.
“I’m meeting with AJ and 258 management to go through plans for his next fight,” said Hearn.
As Hearn pointed out recently, the money isn’t the issue for Joshua, and he can’t be bought off. He’s got enough money as it is already. Joshua wants to regain his titles and prove that he’s the best heavyweight in the division. The only way for him to do that is to fight Usyk in an immediate rematch.
The ONLY reason why Joshua might step aside to allow Fury and Usyk to fight would be for the good of the sport, to let the boxing fans see the undisputed match that they’ve been clamoring for.