IBF Orders Oleksandr Usyk To Defend Titles Vs. Filip Hrgovic
Usyk previously said that he doesn't want to fight anyone except for Tyson Fury next.
Oleksandr Usyk might have to wait a little longer to get a shot at Tyson Fury.
Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing said on Saturday that he received a written order from the IBF for Filip Hrgovic – who Hearn co-promotes – to face Usyk, the unified heavyweight champion.
“We just got the news that Filip Hrgovic has been ordered to face Oleksandr Usyk next,” Hearn told DAZN’s Claudia Trejo.
“Hrgovic is the IBF mandatory. We actually requested an immediate purse bid. That’s going to be the next fight for Oleksandr Usyk. Very excited for Hrgovic and Matchroom. I’m very excited to see that fight next.”
The announcement throws a wrench into the targeted unification fight between WBC, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Usyk and WBC titleholder Fury, which was planned to happen in spring of 2023.
After defeating former champion Anthony Joshua in August, Usyk wanted to take a break for the rest of the year. Fury, however, made it clear that he wanted to stay active. He eventually picked up a fight against former rival Derek Chisora on December 3 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.
The two have already fought twice before, and Fury won both fights.
Meanwhile, Hrgovic, of Zagreb, Croatia, also last fought in August and won a tough battle against Zhilei Zhang by unanimous decision.
Now, Hearn likely hopes that Usyk passes on the mandatory order so that it could potentially set up for a Joshua-Hrgovic title fight.