Oleksandr Usyk is left without a shot at becoming undisputed champion.

It doesn’t necessarily mean a high-profile fight still isn’t on the horizon.

Hard-hitting contenders Daniel Dubois and Deontay Wilder have raised their respective hands as potential alternatives for the unbeaten Ukrainian southpaw’s next unified heavyweight title defense. Both sat on the sidelines and watched as plans collapsed for Usyk’s desired showdown with Tyson Fury, which would have come with the lineal, WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles at stake.

What happens next depends on who you ask—though will ultimately come down to what the WBA will permit.

BoxingScene.com has learned that the WBA will reach out to England’s Dubois to confirm his medical status ahead of plans to order a title consolidation bout. Dubois (19-1, 18KOs) holds the WBA ‘Regular’ heavyweight title, while Usyk is the unified WBA ‘Super’, IBF and WBO titleholder.

All three sanctioning bodies were willing to stand down as Usyk (20-0, 13KOs) and Fury (33-0-1, 24KOs) spent the past several months in talks for an undisputed heavyweight championship clash targeted for April 29. Both sides convinced the WBA—or perhaps just conned the sanctioning body into believing—that they agreed to terms, just as plans called for an ordered Usyk-Dubois title fight. The WBA extended its deadline to April 1 for both sides to deliver signed contracts to the WBA.

Talks ultimately fell apart this week, largely over the terms of a proposed rematch that was previously omitted from their alleged agreement. The WBA is now prepared to take next steps to ensure a title fight of sorts is on the horizon.

The development comes as Wilder and his team are convinced the former WBC heavyweight titlist is all but guaranteed to next face Usyk.

Rumors of such a fight predated Wilder’s ring return last October 15, when he scored a one-punch, first-round knockout of Robert Helenius. The win was the first for the Alabama Slammer (a phrase coined by MVO (Most Valid Opinion) podcast host Matthew ‘White Claw’ Brown) since his come-from-behind, seventh-round knockout of Luis Ortiz in their November 2019 rematch.

The repeat win over Ortiz marked the tenth and final defense of Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title reign, which ended in a February 2020 seventh-round stoppage loss to Fury. Wilder traded knockdowns with Fury in their epic October 2021 rematch, ultimately won by Fury via eleventh-round knockout.

Wilder-Helenius headlined a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View telecast from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. At the time, Usyk and his team promised to be ringside for the event, which further fueled speculation of a planned showdown at some point in 2023.

Usyk—who was two months removed from a repeat win over Anthony Joshua—never made the trip. He did, however, resurface later that year in North London for Fury’s third win over Derek Chisora in their December 3 lineal/WBC heavyweight championship clash. The win was immediately followed by Fury and Usyk coming together face-to-face, separated only by the ring ropes as their staredown was the starting point for a hoped-for undisputed championship.

Nearly four months later, the pair of unbeaten heavyweights are still in need of opponents.

Any hope of Wilder next landing a shot at Usyk will depend on the flexibility of the sanctioning bodies and their respective mandatory challengers.

It was believed that Dubois could be out through June due to a torn ACL suffered in his off-the-canvas, third round stoppage of Kevin Lerena on the Fury-Chisora trilogy undercard. The win was his first title defense of the WBA ‘Regular’ heavyweight title he claimed title in a sixth-round knockout of unbeaten Trevor Bryan last June 11 in Miami. Dubois had a far rougher time with South Africa’s Lerena. The first of three knockdowns in a disastrous opening round saw Dubois land the wrong way on his leg, which was later revealed by head trainer Shane McGuigan as a torn ACL in his left knee. He was down twice more in the round but rallied to twice drop and eventually stop Lerena.

Barry McGuigan, Shane’s father, estimated at the time that Dubois would be out for six months to fully recover before resuming his career.

Dubois’ own recent comments did not lend to suggestion any concern of losing his place in line for his first real title shot immediately in the wake of the Fury-Usyk implosion.

“This is how it is in boxing. Some things go away and another door opens,” Dubois told Pitch Boxing’s Gareth E. Davies during a Queensberry luncheon Thursday afternoon in Central London. “I’m just looking forward to the future. Definitely, one-hundred percent this is the time to get on. I’m coming back stronger than before. Why not go for the big one now? This is for all the belts, all the glory that goes with it.

“I’m one-hundred percent going for it and I’m going to knock him out. I’m next in line, I’ve got the ‘Regular’ belt. There was always that stand-by sort of mentality. I was always thinking I could get the call.”

Dubois is next in the order of mandatory challengers due a shot at Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion who won the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts in a September 2021 victory over Joshua.

It was agreed between the sanctioning bodies that the WBA was up first. The order is then followed by IBF number-one contender Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12KOs) and interim WBO titlist Joe Joyce (15-0, 14KOs), Dubois’ lone conqueror who next faces China’s Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang on April 15 at Copper Box Arena in Hackney Wick.

Fury, Dubois and Joyce are all signed to Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. Hrgovic is co-promoted by Wasserman Boxing and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. Representatives for all three boxers insist they don’t intend to leave their place in line for a mandatory title fight, absent a clear path to an undisputed championship. That ship has sailed, though it still leaves Wilder on the outside looking in, pending a medical report confirming that Dubois is not yet fit for combat and a slowed process by the IBF to get its mandatory in place.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox