Usyk, Fury and Joshua : In the coming months, a new absolute champion may appear in the heavyweight division – representatives of the most popular boxers in this weight category have begun active negotiations on organizing several fights between them at once. MK-Sport tells the details.
The past 2021 would be considered by experts to be one of the best in heavyweight history. In one calendar year, there were two striking title fights, each of which could claim the title of the best fight of the year (plus several more striking fights of a smaller caliber), and several striking boxers of completely different talents, styles and skills were at the top of the ratings at once. The Ring wrote that the world has not seen anything like this since the days of Lennox Lewis , Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson – and if this is an exaggeration, it is not too much.
The main heroes of world boxing right now are Ukrainian Alexander Usik and Briton Tyson Fury . The first one won a completely sensational (and at the same time unconditional) victory over another Briton – Anthony Joshua , who surpassed the Ukrainian boxer in size, was the world champion and was considered the undisputed favorite. Fury, in the fight with Deontay Wilder, again impressed with the ability to withstand the most terrible blows and overwhelm opponents with his power.
In 2022, Usyk and Fury entered the status of owners of all major championship belts: the Ukrainian has the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, and the “Gypsy King” has the WBC title. And this makes them natural candidates for participation in the main fight already this year: there has not been an absolute world heavyweight champion since 2000, and an absolute with four main belts at once – never at all (in the days of Lennox Lewis, the WBO title was not considered valuable yet).
However, on the way to this historic event, as often happens, there is a lot of money and various contractual obligations. Usyk has a duty to provide revenge for Anthony Joshua, and Fury should theoretically have the next fight against Dillian White, the WBC’s mandatory challenger.
Nevertheless, in recent days, several news have appeared at once, hinting that we will still see big battles soon.
First on Friday, Tyson Fury attacked Joshua in an interview with IFL.tv and publicly accused him of simply getting in the way:
“I want him to step aside so that I can beat Usyk and take his belts. I will tell Anthony this way: either take the “obscene” money and go aside, or fight Usyk yourself. I’m not a businessman, I’m a bloody Spartan, I’m only interested in knockouts “obscene”. If you don’t want to fight a Ukrainian, don’t bother me! “
All this could be considered an ordinary self-promotion, if Fury had not already proved that he was ready to keep his word and even go to financial losses if he thinks it is necessary. Apparently Joshua remembers this too, because he responded to Fury the same day, stating:
“If the money is big enough that we will consider this proposal. But for me, respect is much more important than money. For me, respect comes first, my legacy and reputation, which will remain when I leave boxing, comes second, and only in third place is the reputation of the smartest businessman in boxing. “
In other words, Joshua is ready to consider an option in which he, for a certain compensation, will refuse a revenge with Usyk, but money alone will not be enough. He needs something else.
In this situation, Eddie Hearn again becomes a key figure – a British promoter who represents the interests of both Joshua and Usyk. It was he who initiated the organization of a series of three fights between Fury and Joshua, which was supposed to make both fighters multimillionaires: then the project fell through due to the fact that Wilder demanded a fight with Fury or huge compensation through the court. Now the situation is very similar, but only Hearn has a chance to arrange a super series of fights with not two, but with three fighters, and he only needs to plan everything so as to extract the maximum profit from this unique alignment.
One of the options has already been reported by the British media: according to them, Joshua is ready to give up his rematch with Usyk in April in exchange for compensation of 10-15 million pounds and a guarantee that the winner of the Usyk-Fury fight will hold the next fight with him. In this case, the first unification fight will take place in April, and in November – December the owner of all four main belts will enter the ring against Joshua.
Another option that Hearn’s team is considering is an almost complete repetition of last year’s scenario: according to this plan, Alexander Usyk holds a rematch against Anthony Joshua in April, and Tyson Fury goes out against Dillian White in the spring. According to Hearn’s calculations, after that the world champions will again be two Britons – Joshua and Fury. And the promoter will be able to return to the idea of a series of three of their fights with two hundred million pounds at stake.
And so far it seems that it is the second option that has the greatest chances. Hearn has already announced that he is ready to organize a revenge and the only question is where such a fight will raise more money – in the UK or abroad.
“We have the ability to organize the fight wherever we want. In doing so, he must bring enough money. That way we know we did a good job. Kiev will not give so much money – this is not the place where you can earn it, so other places outside the UK will be considered , ”Hearn quotes ESPN. What exactly this place will be, it seems, became clear after Joshua and Usyk met in Dubai, where they played out a funny mise-en-scene, depicting a clash in one of the restaurants. Apparently, it was in the country of sheikhs that fees were found that could satisfy even Hirn.
Whether it is true or not, it will become clear in the next two days: Tyson Fury put an ultimatum in front of Joshua and his promoter, demanding to decide on plans by January 10 and threatening to simply cut off contacts with them otherwise. And he also threatened that if he was not given Usik, he would fight White in April and thus take away part of the audience from a potential hit from Hearn.
So we are definitely guaranteed at least one superfight in April.
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