Krassyuk: Usyk vs. Joshua Will Happen in 2020
One of Oleksandr Usyk’s promoters doesn’t know when, but he expects his fighter to challenge Anthony Joshua for his heavyweight championships sometime this year.
Joshua, who holds the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles, is currently dealing with two mandatory challengers. The WBO has ordered him to defend against Usyk, while the IBF has declared he must face Kubrat Pulev. In fact, the IBF recently ordered Joshua and Pulev’s teams must come to terms on a deal by the end of this month.
Eddie Hearn, who promotes both Joshua and Usyk, is attempting to get clarification from the sanctioning bodies on if Pulev is the mandatory challenger that can go first, while Usyk has another bout in the interim.
If the WBO is willing to let Joshua-Pulev occur and not strip Joshua, Usyk could face Dereck Chisora, potentially on March 28 at The O2 in London. Should the WBO title become vacant, however, Usyk may need to face Joseph Parker.
According to Alexander Krassyuk, Usyk’s other promoter, the WBO rankings may not allow for Chisora to challenge for the WBO championship due to the rankings. While Usyk was made No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger upon surrendering his undisputed cruiserweight title, Parker currently sits at No. 2.
“Chisora is impossible for the title,” Krassyuk said. “In case it turns out that the WBO title is vacant, Usyk will be happy to fight for it. And Joseph Parker is the highest available contender.”
Krassyuk is still expecting that Joshua and Usyk, a pair of former Olympic gold medalists, will meet in 2020 — whether it’s Usyk entering as mandatory challenger, or if Usyk wins the WBO title and meets Joshua in a title unification bout.
“Usyk will fight Joshua, and this is a fact!” Krassyuk said. “The question is whether it happens in the next fight or the other. At this stage we [wait] for AJ’s decision.”
Original Story: Sky Sports