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Filip Hrgovic: Tyson Fury had his chance, I'm next in line for the Oleksandr Usyk vs Daniel Dubois winner

Filip Hrgovic is the mandatory challenger for the IBF heavyweight title and is adamant that he must box the Oleksandr Usyk vs Daniel Dubois winner next; Hrgovic says that it's too late for Tyson Fury who had 'all the time in the world' to make the undisputed fight with Usyk earlier

Filip Hrgovic (Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom)
Image: Filip Hrgovic beat Dempsey McKean in his last fight (Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom)

Heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic has condemned Tyson Fury for boxing Francis Ngannou in a non-title bout and insisted that he will be next to challenge for Oleksandr Usyk’s championships.

Hrgovic is the mandatory challenger for the IBF heavyweight title, which Usyk will put on the line, along with the WBA and WBO belts, against Britain's Daniel Dubois on Saturday.

Croatia's Hrgovic should be next in the rotation of mandatory heavyweight challengers after Dubois. He is adamant that it is his turn to box the winner of Usyk-Dubois next.

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Oleksandr Usyk started rapping after facing off against Daniel Dubois following a press conference for their unified heavyweight title fight. (Warning: video contains flashing images)

Hrgovic insists that the chance for Fury vs Usyk has been and gone and that they should have made that undisputed championship fight when the opportunity was there earlier this year.

"They had all the time in the world to make this fight," Hrgovic told Sky Sports. "I am next in line for Oleksandr Usyk. If he wins this Saturday I should fight him next.

"Fury has scheduled a fight and according to all rules I should be next in line and I hope it will happen at the end of the year or maybe latest at the beginning of next year."

He is convinced he will be able to enforce his own world title fight next. "I should get that shot. I've waited so long for this, to get this IBF mandatory position and I've defended it," Hrgovic said. "There is no conversation about that.

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Usyk has questioned Tyson Fury's decision to fight former UFC champion Francis Ngannou

"Usyk should defend his title, [meet] his mandatory obligation so I should be next in the line. We received a letter from the IBF a few weeks ago that the winner of my fight and Usyk's fight will fight for the IBF title next.

"So I hope so. The IBF will put pressure on Usyk and he will need to fight me or he will have to vacate the title."

He is expecting Usyk to be victorious this weekend though he doesn't rule out Dubois' chances entirely.

"In life and in boxing everything is possible. Usyk is the favourite, he's quicker, he has better skills, much more experience," Hrgovic said.

Daniel Dubois and Oleksandr Usyk faced off ahead of their heavyweight fight
Image: Usyk and Dubois will fight for the unified WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles on Saturday

"But Dubois' a big guy. He has a good right hand. He's a strong guy so anything is possible in boxing. I give him a puncher's chance."

Hrgovic has criticised the logjam in the heavyweight division, directing much of his ire against Fury.

Usyk vs Dubois on August 26 will be the first heavyweight world title fight of the year so far. Fury won't box until October 28 and that will be against former UFC champion Francis Ngannou, who will be having his first boxing contest, without Fury's world title on the line.

It means there hasn't been a fight for the WBC heavyweight championship since Fury beat Derek Chisora in December of last year.

"He's fighting some MMA guy who never boxed before. That's crazy," Hrgovic complained. "I don't know why sanctioning bodies are letting them do that. That's disrespectful to boxing and to the fans and other fighters.

"It should be stopped. That's my opinion," he added. "From what I can see Fury's obviously not interested in boxing anymore. He can't stop the whole division. Sanctioning bodies need to do their job. They need to force mandatories and that's it."

He made the case for the importance of mandatory challenges like his. "There's [been] no title fights. Vacate the titles or fight your mandatories," he said. "They're holding [up] the whole division.

"It's not only frustrating for me. It's frustrating for the fans, for boxing, for everyone because nothing has been happening.

"Finally now Usyk is fighting Dubois. Fans want to see fights. There are a lot of good mandatory challengers who can give good fights to the fans."

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