Anthony Joshua believes ‘reasonable’ Oleksandr Usyk is ‘keen to step aside’ as the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO champion seeks to set up an undisputed world heavyweight title clash with WBC belt-holder Tyson Fury
- Anthony Joshua hopes all titles will be on the line when he takes on Tyson Fury
- The WBO have ordered Joshua to fight Oleksandr Usyk next or vacate their title
- But Joshua has received indications the Ukrainian is willing to wait for his shot
Anthony Joshua is increasingly hopeful all the heavyweight titles will be on the line if he fights Tyson Fury after making contact with Oleksandr Usyk’s team in an effort to resolve the political mess around the WBO belt.
The WBO have mandated that Joshua must fight Usyk next or else vacate their title, which remains a complication in the dealings to make a showdown for the undisputed crown with WBC champion Fury.
However, Joshua, who holds the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts, has received indications that Usyk is now willing to wait for his shot.
Anthony Joshua is hopeful all the heavyweight titles will be on the line if he fights Tyson Fury
The WBO have ordered Joshua to fight Oleksandr Usyk (right) next or vacate their title
‘I think Usyk will be keen to step aside and let the fight happen,’ he said.
‘We’ve reached out to his management team. He’s a reasonable person and he’ll understand the magnitude of this situation.’
If the fight between Joshua and Fury ultimately does go ahead with the WBO’s involvement – late May in the Middle East is among the most likely possibilities for the first of two proposed bouts – then the winner would stand to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.
Tyson Fury holds the WBC belt after defeating Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas last year
Joshua added: ‘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.’
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