The former Undisputed Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk’s main target in 2020 is to face Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua, whether he enters as a mandatory challenger or a winner of the WBO belt if it is vacated.
Since Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia last month he has been forced to start negotiating with two mandatory challengers as the Brit looks to keep hold of his world titles.
The WBO mandatory challenger is expected to fight Joshua this year but will most likely have to be patient as the IBF mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev, is currently in pole position to be the Brit’s next opponent.
Bulgaria’s Pulev has lost just once in 29 fights, losing to then-champion Wladimir Klitschko five years ago.
Speaking on a potential coming together with Joshua, Usyk’s promoter, Alexander Krassyuk said:
“Usyk will fight Joshua and that is a fact! The question is whether it happens in the next fight or the other.
"At this stag,e we wait for AJ’s decision.”
Earlier this week the IBF stated that:
“Pulev and Joshua camps have until January 31 to negotiate.”
Usyk’s next fight will likely be against New Zealander Joseph Parker if the WBO belt is vacated or a non-title bout with Derek Chisora has also been mentioned.
“Chisora is impossible for the title. “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.”
Usyk won an Olympic Gold Medal at London 2012 alongside Joshua and is aiming to emulate legendary boxer Evander Holyfield by winning a belt in both the Cruiserweight and Heavyweight divisions.
Johsua’s promoter Eddie Hearn when asked by Sky Sports about the heavyweight champion’s plans for the year said:
“Conversations are ongoing with all parties to plan what’s next and it will all come to head over the next few weeks.
“Right now everything is in play.”News Now - Sport News