Anthony Joshua Confident Oleksandr Usyk Will Step Aside For Tyson Fury
Anthony Joshua believes that Oleksandr Usyk will hold off on his mandatory status to make way for a megafight with Tyson Fury.
Joshua is the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion. Fury holds the WBC gold. Both men have expressed interest in colliding to determine the undisputed champion but Usyk is the mandatory challenger for the WBO Title.
Joshua recently shared his belief that Usyk will step aside to make way for the Fury fight (h/t Daily Mail).
“I think Usyk will be keen to step aside and let the fight happen. We’ve reached out to his management team. He’s a reasonable person and he’ll understand the magnitude of this situation.”
Joshua went on to say that either way, he’s got a tough fight ahead of him in Fury or Usyk.
“If I go right I’ve got Tyson Fury – tough fight. If I go left, I’ve got Usyk, another tough fight. Ideally I’ll go right but ultimately all I want to do is focus on the fight. It’s a challenge for me. I respect Fury, he’s done great things. But I want to challenge myself. If that’s with Tyson Fury for the WBC title I promise you I will go that route. I will take that opportunity with both hands and both feet.”
Usyk earned his mandatory status after moving up to the heavyweight division. Usyk had been the undisputed cruiserweight champion, so the WBO recognized him as the heavyweight mandatory. He’s coming off a unanimous decision victory over Derek Chisora.
In his last outing, Joshua successfully defended all of his gold. He knocked out Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round. Fury’s last bout took place back in February when he stopped Deontay Wilder via seventh-round TKO to capture the WBC Title.