Hearn: Pulev Easier Than Usyk For AJ-Ruiz Winner
While Oleksandr Usyk is considered the front runner to face the winner of Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz’s December 7th rematch, obstacles stand in his way.
“It’s not a question to me,” Usyk said of what’s next for him. “That question is to [promoter Eddie Hearn], whatever he can bring to me. But if it would be up to me, I probably would pick the winner of Joshua-Ruiz.”
While his promoter believes Usyk deserves a shot at a world title, the WBO mandatory may not get his chance to fight Joshua if the two-time Olympic gold medalist gets revenge on Ruiz.
“The interesting thing now is that you’re gonna have two mandatories, the IBF and WBO, Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk,” Hearn said.
“The winner of Joshua-Ruiz is gonna get two letters [to make mandatory defenses], and they’re gonna say, ‘You’re gonna have to choose what you’re gonna do.’ If you’re choosing one of those, I think you’re choosing Pulev, personally.”
To remain the IBF mandatory Pulev must first defeat Rydell Booker on November 9th, and await the results of the Saudi Arabian clash.
“I think Usyk is probably gonna end up fighting for a vacant world title,” Hearn said, “because if [the Joshua-Ruiz winner] don’t fight him, he’ll have to vacate. Again, anything can happen. Joshua won’t want to vacate any belts.”
Report: Boxing Scene