Quotes are from Alexander Krassyuk, the co-promoter of Anthony Joshua’s mandatory challenger in the WBO division, Oleksandr Usyk.
Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk’s team has been adamant that AJ must fight Usyk after his fight against Kubrat Pulev. But for the first time in our interview, Krassyuk admitted he believes AJ will ditch the WBO belt if the Fury fight presents itself, hinting at an undisputed bout between the two British heavyweights.
With his fighter’s date against Derek Chisora agreed for next month, Krassyuk revealed the agreement with Eddie Hearn to fight Usyk is only on paper, not in writing – and it is his belief that making these plans so far in advance before other fights take place is “stupid”.
Expecting Anthony Joshua to vacate his belt
“Usyk is mandatory for the WBO title, he is not mandatory for AJ personally. He is mandatory for the belt and whoever owns the belt is the possible opponent. Many people from a boxing audience would love to see Usyk and AJ, especially here in the Ukraine but also throughout the world.
“[But] Fury-AJ is much more anticipated because they are two British guys, two heavyweights. Maybe there’s a chance that they’re going to fight for the undisputed championship, which has never happened before in the history of boxing. This is a cherry on the cake.
“If there is a chance for AJ to fight Fury, I think he will vacate, that’s my personal feeling.
“We agreed that as soon as AJ fights Pulev and wins, he will have to face Usyk. This is our agreement but never on paper. This is what we agreed with Eddie when we gave the road for Pulev and AJ for the IBF.
“But there was also a term in the case the Fury fight turns out – then AJ may choose Fury as the principal fight. But one remark: it [AJ-Fury] cannot happen for the WBO belt, AJ would have to vacate.
“Anything could happen, things like Fury Wilder III may end up in favour of Wilder and if it goes that way Fury-AJ is not actual anymore. It’s so uncertain that making plans now is stupid.”
“Eddie is taking care of the organisational stuff, but we have more than one month to go and things may change on both sides, it can become worse or it can become better, you never know. We know at this stage the government did not allow fans in attendance, so it will take place in a venue appropriate for that kind of event.”
“This kind of fight should not go without spectators, but if the government does not allow it due to COVID restrictions then fans will watch on TV.”
On Usyk’s Personality
“He has high level discipline and his confidence comes out of the discipline. When he’s in the locker room waiting, he has the impression that 12 weeks of hard work is behind him, there’s nothing else he can do. The fight night is his holiday and his party.”
Kalle Saueland is talking about a heavyweight tournament, what are your thoughts?
It’s a great idea but almost unreal to organise. We are still in season two and season three has started. Financial wise you’ll have to generate billions to make it happen. It’s not a matter of a millions, it’s billions, so I cannot see a source coming forward with that sort of money.
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