Anthony Joshua given 48 hours to save Tyson Fury fight by the WBO or be forced to face Oleksandr Usyk after Deontay Wilder wins legal case
Anthony Joshua and his team have 48 hours to prove the Tyson Fury fight is salvageable or else the WBO will order he faces Oleksandr Usyk next.
Joshua and Fury seemed certain to fight for the undisputed heavyweight world championship on August 14 in Saudi Arabia, but those plans were ruined by Deontay Wilder.
The ‘Bronze Bomber’ won his legal battle to have a third fight with Fury after their fights in 2018 and then 2020, meaning the 32-year-old is legally obliged to face Wilder before September 15.
If Fury has to face former WBC heavyweight champ Wilder again, it leaves Joshua with a gaping hole in his fight calendar and it could open the door for Usyk to get his crack at the WBA, WBO and IBF champ.
The WBO were willing to allow Joshua to face Fury for the all of the belts, yet the Ukrainian will now seemingly getting his opportunity to face his fellow Olympian.
“The WBO is extremely happy as their mandatory challenger will be facing their heavyweight champion,” Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports.
“What else can they desire? We are waiting for their approval letter!”
WBO president Paco Valcarcel said on Tuesday night: “I hope boxing fans will enjoy Joshua vs Usyk in the near future.”
The targeted date for Joshua vs Usyk is in August at “most likely a big open-air venue in the UK”, says Krassyuk.
Joshua posted on social media shortly after the WBO gave him a 48-hour deadline, joking: “I’m thinking about starting a Go Fund Me page to raise money for Wilder’s step aside payment – £20m.
“So I can smoke that fat guy with skinny legs from Manchester.
“These heavyweights need a podcast or something because they do more talking than fighting.”
The pair then traded verbal barbs on social media, with Fury offering to fight Joshua in a bare-knuckle boxing match THIS weekend.