"There were talks about an interim title or the Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury winner relinquishing the WBO title the next day," says Oleksandr Usyk's promoter; AJ and Fury plan an undisputed heavyweight title fight but mandatory challenger Usyk is not giving up his rights
Monday 11 January 2021 17:42, UK
Oleksandr Usyk remains resolute in his chase of a heavyweight world title and has not given "consent" to Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to decide every major belt, according to his promoter.
IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua and WBC title holder Fury are locked in talks to stage a super-fight in 2021 that would crown an undisputed ruler of the heavyweight division.
But Usyk's status as WBO mandatory challenger to the belt held by Joshua is a hurdle they must overcome because the undefeated Ukrainian intends to challenge for the gold this year, having come through a fight against Derek Chisora.
That has led to the possibility of Joshua vacating the WBO belt, allowing Usyk to fight for it against another contender, and paving the way for Joshua vs Fury.
Usyk's promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports about the looming decision around the WBO belt: "According to now the deadline is more for Fury and AJ not for Usyk.
"There were talks about an interim title or the AJ vs Fury winner relinquishing the WBO title the next day [after they fight].
"But as for today Usyk is the WBO mandatory and never gave his consent for the [Joshua vs Fury] bout to happen without him."
"Usyk is in good conditions now, he successfully recovered from his last fight and looks forward to fight challenge the title this spring."
Usyk has no intention of biding his time with an extra fight before challenging for the WBO belt.
"A non-title fight has never been under discussion and I really hope it will never be," Krassyuk said.
Joshua said: "I promise you, conversations and face-to-face meetings are happening with representations of my team and Tyson Fury's team."
The location of the dream occasion must also be finalised - boxing will return in the UK in mid-February, the British Boxing Board of Control has announced, after a shutdown throughout January due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.
But staging Joshua vs Fury abroad remains a possibility due to the lack of capacity crowds in Britain.
"Both camps have a responsibility to maximise the revenue for their biggest fight - this is the pinnacle of their careers, the biggest moment, nothing will ever beat it," Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn recently told Sky Sports.
"At the same time, we all recognise this is two Brits fighting for the undisputed championship of the world. If there is a way to do it in the UK? Fantastic."
Joshua believes the first of two planned fights with Fury will be in June and he added: "I'm not too fussed where it is. I just want to get the fight, because there's so many variables, and so much for me to look at.
"Where is it going to be? Is he going to take the fight? Have I got a mandatory?
"I've just stripped it all back now and stopped dealing with that stuff. I've just said, 'Let me just fight Tyson Fury wherever it is, whatever time it is.'"