WBO president Francisco Valcarcel has stepped ahead of the curve regarding the announcement of a two-fight deal between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, insisting Thursday that the winner of the series take on Ukranian boxer Oleksandr Usyk.
At the earliest, Usyk would not get a shot against Joshua or Fury until late 2021.
“I would love to see WBO champion Anthony Joshua unify titles with former WBO champion and current WBC (World Boxing Council) champ Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight championship, but the next challenger should be the mandatory challenger for the WBO,” Valcárcel said.
Usyk unified the cruiserweight titles before moving up late last year to heavyweight, where he defeated Chazz Witherspoon by seventh-round TKO. He was granted the WBO’s No. 1 ranking as a result of his accomplishments at cruiserweight.
One of the bigger questions surrounding the potential heavyweight unification fight between WBC champion Fury and WBO-WBA-IBF champion Joshua is how each of the four major sanctioning organizations will handle its mandatory challenger to the title.
Before the Joshua and Fury fights in 2021, Joshua is scheduled to face Kubrat Pulev. Fury is contractually obligated to face Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight, which is expected late this year.
Dillian Whyte, the WBC interim heavyweight champion, is also waiting for a championship opportunity and according to Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, “he is supposed to fight Tyson Fury, the WBC champion, by February 2021.” Hearn also represents Joshua.