Frank Warren, co-promoter for WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, is confident Oleksandr Usyk will not prevent a unification showdown with IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
The handlers for Fury and Joshua are in serious negotiations to finalize a two-fight series.
However, Usyk is the WBO's mandatory challenger and he's applying pressure to make Joshua fulfil his mandatory obligation.
As BoxingScene.com reported several days ago, the World Boxing Organization is provisionally approving a full division unification between Joshua and Fury.
But, Usyk and unbeaten Olympic silver medal winner Joe Joyce would collide for the WBO's interim-title.
And, the winner of Joshua-Fury would have to face the victor of Usyk-Joyce. If the Joshua-Fury winner fails to face Usyk or Joyce - they would be stripped of the WBO title, with Usyk or Joyce becoming the full champion.
“[The WBO] written to all parties concerned and they’ve basically said they want our input regarding the fight. We are obviously very, very interested in Joe Joyce fighting Usyk for the ‘interim’ title. And I think there is a strong possibility that fight will happen," Warren told Talk Sport.
“But Usyk himself will not be able to get in the way of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. What would happen hypothetically, if we all agree on this, is the two guys Tyson and AJ get it on. It’d be the winner of [Usyk vs Joyce] becomes the ‘interim’ champion - but then the winner of [Fury vs Joshua] would have to defend against Usyk or Joe, or vacate the title.
"[Usyk and Joyce] fought as amateurs and Usyk had a win over Joe as an amateur. But, having said that, he’s a cruiserweight who’s come up to heavyweight, but it’s not like he’s a young cruiserweight, late 20s who can develop into a heavyweight. He’s 34, so he’s come up in weight and could probably still make cruiserweight. And Joe is a big, big heavyweight. He’s very fast Usyk, we’ve seen that, but I’d fancy Joe to beat Derek Chisora and I fancy him to beat Usyk.”