Oleksandr Usyk vows to take world heavyweight titles from Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury
The Ukrainian is WBO mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua
By Richard Damerell and Andy Scott
Last Updated: 22/03/20 7:12am
Oleksandr Usyk has vowed to take world titles from Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury as he attempts to break Britain's dominance at heavyweight.
The Ukrainian pound-for-pound star has set his sights on Brit duo Joshua and Fury, who hold all the world belts, but is firstly preparing to face Derek Chisora at The O2 on May 23, live on Sky Sports Box Office, in only his second fight in the top division.
Usyk became the undisputed cruiserweight champion while winning the World Boxing Super Series and is not daunted by the prospect of challenging unified king Joshua, or the newly crowned WBC champion Fury.
"I work hard on it," said Usyk, when asked about his aim to hold all the world heavyweight titles.
But the supremely talented southpaw did not have a preference for Joshua or Fury, answering: "I want to fight both."
Joshua has already lined up an IBF mandatory title fight against Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office, with Fury expected to defend his WBC title in a third fight with Deontay Wilder, although Usyk is paying little attention to either champion.
"The last thing I think about is who will fight who. No predictions," said Usyk.
Usyk was installed as the WBO mandatory challenger for Joshua after moving up to heavyweight, but was not prepared to sit and wait for his title shot.
The 33-year-old suffered a bicep injury before his divisional debut against Chazz Witherspoon, a seventh-round stoppage win, while he was recently hampered by an elbow problem and wants to sharpen his skills with the Chisora fight.
"I need to stay active. I need to box," he said. "If your vocation is passive, it's not good. If you stay active, it's very good. This is my active vocation."
Promoter Eddie Hearn is keen to stage an undisputed world heavyweight title fight between Joshua and Fury before the end of the year, but Usyk's team remain determined that he challenges the fellow Olympic gold medallist first.
"Right now, we have to win [against Chisora], then after the mandatory fight for the WBO has to happen," Usyk's manager Egis Klimas told Sky Sports.
"I believe Anthony also wants this fight. Good fighters want to fight good fighters. Anthony sees a good challenge in Oleksandr and wants to go there. Everybody says Oleksandr will give Anthony problems, but Anthony believes the opposite, so wants to show that he is stronger.
"In the UK would make sense - it wouldn't make sense to go to the States with one boxer from the UK and one from Ukraine. The UK fans know Usyk."