Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury’s fights with Oleksandr Usyk and Dillian Whyte reaching crucial deadline

WBC Wednesday deadline may hold the key to the immediate future of the heavyweight division; will Anthony Joshua fight Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury face Dillian Whyte as expected, or might there be a new twist?

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'Joshua should step aside to allow Fury vs Usyk'

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury's next fights are set to become clearer, with Oleksandr Usyk a serious possibility for either.

A WBC deadline on Wednesday at 6pm (UK time) before purse bids are called to agree Fury's expected fight with Dillian Whyte holds the key to the future of the heavyweight division.

The expectation has long been that Joshua will again fight IBF, WBA and WBO champion Usyk, after he triggered a rematch clause following a points loss in their first meeting, and WBC champion Fury will face his mandatory challenger Whyte.

File photo dated 07-12-2019 of Dillian Whyte.
Image: Dillian Whyte is in talks to fight Tyson Fury

But no final agreement has been struck for either fight and it has emerged that Fury and Usyk could instead meet in the ring to stage an undisputed heavyweight title fight.

Fury said on Tuesday: "Tick, tick, tock. Is Whyte going to fight me? Is Joshua going to step aside?

"Let me know because I am sick of looking at these bums. I am sick of listening to their excuses."

Joshua said about reports that he would step aside to allow Fury vs Usyk: "I'm hearing people say 'AJ accepts £15m to step aside'. I haven't signed a contract, I haven't seen a contract. So as it stands, stop listening until it comes from me.

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Anthony Joshua, Oleksander Usyk
Image: Joshua triggered rematch clause to fight Usyk again

His promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports about Joshua's immediate plan: "We have a number of proposals and options to discuss."

Usyk's promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports: "Though AJ gave his consent (according to The Telegraph) we still have not reached the final point in negotiations. And unless we get it - AJ rematch remains the basic option for us."

It is likely that, should Fury and Usyk reach an agreement to meet next, instead of facing Joshua and Whyte, a deal must be struck before the WBC's Wednesday deadline at 6pm.

The WBC have already extended the negotiation period, amid complicated discussions concerning the four heavyweights, and it remains to be seen whether the governing body will offer even more days for talks.

Tyson Fury
Image: Tyson Fury is the undefeated WBC champion

Whyte is currently in arbitration with the WBC but has been named the mandatory challenger and could finally receive his first world title shot.

From 6pm, purse bids will be open - meaning any promoter can enter the negotiations and offer to finance and stage Fury vs Whyte.

Sky Sports Boxing schedule

Sunday January 30 in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez - WBC super-featherweight title eliminator
Nico Ali Walsh

Saturday February 5 in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin - IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles

Saturday February 19 in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Frazer Clarke's pro debut

Saturday February 26 in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall - undisputed super-lightweight titles
Nick Campbell vs Jay McFarlane - Scottish heavyweight title

Saturday March 5 in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza

Sunday March 20 in New York
Edgar Berlanga vs Steve Rolls
Keyshawn Davis
Xander Zayas

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