The Ukrainian is the mandatory WBO challenger for Anthony Joshua
By Richard Damerell and Andy Scott
Last updated: 22/03/20 7:12
Oleksandr Usyk has promised to get world titles from Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury as he attempts to break British heavyweight dominance.
The pound-for-pound Ukrainian star has set his sights on British duo Joshua and Fury, who hold all the belts in the world, but first prepares to take on Derek Chisora at The O2 on May 23, live on Sky Sports Box Office, only in his second fight in the top division.
Usyk became the undisputed champion of the cruiser while winning the World Boxing Super Series and is not discouraged by the prospect of challenging the unified king Joshua, or the newly crowned WBC Fury champion.
“I work hard on it,” Usyk said, when asked about his goal of holding all the world’s heavyweight titles.
But the extremely talented southpaw didn’t have a preference for Joshua or Fury, replying: “I want to fight both.”
Joshua has already fielded a mandatory IBF title fight against Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur stadium on June 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office, with Fury expected to defend his WBC title in a third fight with Deontay Wilder, although Usyk is paying little attention to either champ.
“The last thing I think about is who will fight who. No prediction,” said Usyk.
Usyk was installed as a mandatory WBO challenger for Joshua after going heavyweight, but was unwilling to sit back and wait for his title shot.
The 33-year-old suffered a bicep injury before his division debut against Chazz Witherspoon, a stoppage win in the seventh round, while he was recently hampered by an elbow problem and wants to hone his skills with Chisora’s fight.
“I have to stay active. I have to box,” he said. “If your vocation is passive, it is not good. If you stay active, it is very good. This is my active vocation.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn is ready to organize an undisputed heavyweight world title fight between Joshua and Fury before the end of the year, but Usyk’s team remains determined to challenge the Olympic gold medal teammate first.
“Right now, we have to win [against Chisora], then after the mandatory fight for the WBO must take place, “said Usyk manager Egis Klimas Sky Sports.
“I think Anthony wants this fight too. Good fighters want to fight good fighters. Anthony sees a great challenge in Oleksandr and wants to go there. Everyone says Oleksandr will give Anthony trouble, but Anthony believes otherwise, so he wants to prove that he is harder.
“In the UK it would make sense – it wouldn’t make sense to go to the United States with a boxer from the UK and one from Ukraine. UK fans know Usyk.”