Eddie Hearn has ruled out the possibility of Anthony Joshua stepping aside to allow Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk to fight.
The WBC has ordered that the winner of Fury’s bout with Deontay Wilder must fight the winner of Dillian Whyte’s bout with Otto Wallin, unless the WBC heavyweight title holder can arrange an undisputed title fight with Usyk.
In order for that to happen, Joshua would have to allow either Fury or Wilder to fight Usyk before he gets another shot at the Ukrainian boxer.
Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, was speaking to IFL TV and insisted that AJ will fight Usyk for a second time as soon as possible.
Eddie Hearn insists Anthony Joshua will fight Oleksandr Usyk next.
“Ultimately, Dillian [Whyte] will be mandatory for the winner of Deontay vs. Fury. That’s what he deserves,” Hearn said.
“I think Dillian’s team will need to push on that to make sure the wording is correct. He’s not going to roll over and accept something that’s not fair.
“But if he gets a shot against the winner of Fury – Wilder, fantastic news. We know AJ has a rematch clause [with Usyk]. We expect that fight to take place in March.
“I don’t see any scenario with AJ being fit to fight that he doesn’t fight Oleksandr Usyk. I spoke to Bob [Arum] last night, he called me, and he talked about the possibility of maybe stepping aside. Joshua doesn’t step aside.
“While he’s fit to fight and he is, that’s the fight he’s taking. All he’s thinking about this evening is Oleksandr Usyk.”
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) September 16, 2021
The path is clear for Dillian Whyte to face either Fury or Wilder.
Based on what Hearn has said, except for in the case of injury, Joshua will face Usyk early next year, meaning that the winner of Fury and Wilder must face either Whyte or Wallin.
Fury seemed largely unenthusiastic about the prospect of facing Whyte when he was asked about the WBC’s mandatory challenger, although that may just have been down to him being focused on the Wilder fight.
Whyte is currently the WBC interim heavyweight title holder, but he has never gotten the chance to fight for a major world title before.
That wait looks set to end in the near future, unless Swedish boxer Wallin can pull off an upset against Whyte in London at the end of the month.