Joshua and Fury are expected to meet this year, at least once, and with the two men holding all the world heavyweight titles between them, it should be to crown an undisputed champion.
However, Usyk is mandatory challenger for AJ’s WBO belt and wants his shot at the title, which throws a spanner in the works.
It doesn’t stop the fight between Joshua and Fury being made, but refusal to give Usyk the shot would mean the WBO strap being relinquished and the all-British affair would not be for the coveted undisputed crown.
Hearn wants to give Fury and Joshua at least one shot at holding all the gold, and has suggested Usyk look to a bout with Joyce instead of getting in the way of the super fight.
‘I’d just love that moment to see AJ as undisputed champion.
‘You can say to Usyk, “set your fight with Joe Joyce maybe for the interim belt, or after that it becomes the full championship.”
‘Usyk is a classy guy, he’s a boxing guy through-and-through, he will see that Fury vs AJ is so good for the sport of boxing.
‘Does he want to stop the undisputed heavyweight world championship fight? The fans won’t like it if he does as well.
‘But we can’t just disrespect him and say, “sorry mate you have to wait.” The answer I see is for Usyk to fight Joe Joyce.’
Usyk and Joyce are ranked number one and two respectively by the WBO, so the bout would make sense to establish an interim champ.
Hearn feels that, with the ongoing pandemic and the problems that has come with it for the sport, it is more important now than ever for boxing to put on the biggest fights possible, and not worrying about regulations.
‘Now is a pivotal time in terms of belts and politics,’ he said. ‘We can’t afford in boxing right now to be restricted by the rules and requirements of governing bodies.
‘Big fights are what we need in boxing, but at the same time we can’t just disregard a mandatory challenger.
‘Yes AJ vs Usyk is a great fight and Fury vs [Deontay]Wilder III is a good fight, but let’s be honest, it will be a let down for everybody if we don’t see this fight next.’
Whether the WBO belt will be at the party or not, Hearn remains sure that Fury and Joshua will step into the ring in the next six months.
‘Talks are progressing really well,’ he said. ‘I’m confident that late May, early June, we will see that fight.’
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