Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will “initiate” plans for a rematch by considering the location, the clearest sign yet that Tyson Fury’s next opponent will be Dillian Whyte.
The WBC had ruled that their champion Fury had 30 days to agree a fight with IBF, WBA and WBO titleholder Usyk to decide the heavyweight division’s undisputed ruler before he would be mandated to fight the interim WBC champion Whyte.
That deadline has now passed and, after Joshua triggered a rematch clause to fight Usyk again, Whyte has never been closer to a maiden world title fight than he is now.
Whyte has called on the WBC to ‘force’ his shot at Fury
“We plan to meet with [Joshua’s promoter] Eddie Hearn within the next couple of weeks to initiate the rematch activities,” Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports.
“We have three options under consideration: the UK, Ukraine and the Middle East.
“Hopefully by the end of 2021, we will be in the position to take the final decision.”
Usyk delivered a masterclass to rip away Joshua’s titles and become only the third boxer to win world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight.
An undisputed fight between Usyk and Fury, who are the holders of every belt, was never an option because of Joshua’s entitlement to a rematch.
Usyk suggests that Ukraine could host his rematch with Joshua
Usyk is not frustrated by facing a wait to become undisputed, Krassyuk said: “Not at all. We were 100 per cent aware of the rematch clause, we gave our word and signed it on paper.
“There is no space for frustration, as things are going the way we planned them to go.
“Tyson has to prove his championship position by going through the mandatory. But this is up to him and his team.
“On our side, we keep focus on the rematch as the No 1 option.”
Whyte withdrew from a scheduled fight against Otto Wallin last month due to a shoulder injury.
But he had regained the WBC interim title in March, knocking out Alexander Povetkin in a rematch to line up a fight against Fury.
“Hopefully now, the WBC forces my position and Fury has no choice,” Whyte previously told Sky Sports.
“It’s a massive British fight, a major fight for Britain.
“Fury is an unpredictable man who might say: ‘I am done!'”
Dillian Whyte is WBC interim champion
Fury dismantled Deontay Wilder in their third WBC heavyweight championship fight to solidify his claim to be the division’s No 1.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who promotes Fury in the US, previously told Sky Sports: “Who Fury fights next will be determined by Fury.
“If the fight is in the UK, I would think Whyte would be a good possibility, as well as Joe Joyce.
“It is very, very important that Tyson, having done his last five fights in the US, that he goes back and does a fight in the UK.”
Carl Froch says he would not be surprised if Tyson Fury retired after defeating Deontay Wilder
Arum said that, after talks involving Fury’s UK promoter Frank Warren, the undefeated WBC champion could return to the ring in April.
Arum added about Fury eventually fighting Usyk: “He is the one guy who would be the most competitive with Fury.
“Hopefully next year that fight can happen.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewaju Durodola
Caroline Dubois professional debut
Florian Marku vs Jorick Luisetto
Hosea Burton vs Dan Azeez – British light-heavyweight title
November 20 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter – WBO welterweight title
December 11 – BOXXER
December 11 – Top Rank in New York
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey
Jared Anderson vs Oleksandr Teslenko
Nico Ali Walsh
December 17 – Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles
February 26 – Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title