Frank Warren, promoter for Olympic silver medal winner Joe Joyce, reveals that there are ongoing discussions to make a fight with Oleksandr Usyk – in what would be a clash for the interim-WBO heavyweight title.
Usyk is the mandatory challenger to the WBO title. Joyce is sitting in the number 2 position within the WBO’s rankings.
Anthony Joshua, who holds the WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA world titles, is in serious negotiations to finalize a two-fight series with WBC champion Tyson Fury. The first bout of that series would take place in May or June, at a location to be determined.
To make Joshua-Fury a reality, there would have to be a step-aside agreement reached with Usyk.
If Joshua were to vacate the WBO title, the sanctioning body would order a fight between Usyk and Joyce.
“We’re working on, at the moment, Usyk and Joe Joyce. I think the WBO will order that as an interim-title fight so we’re working hard to make that happen. The situation is that the WBO have said they’d like to do that fight as an eliminator. We have no objection to that and I don’t think Usyk has,” Warren told IFL TV.
“There’s been some preliminary talks and we’ll see where we go from there. I hope [the fight will get made]. It’s a good fight and I think whoever wins it, based on his last performance, Joe’s looking really good.
“If he comes through it, it puts the winner in a tremendous position. The eventual winner of the two fights between Tyson and AJ will have to defend against Joyce or Usyk, or vacate the belt.”
Both Joyce and Usyk picked up big wins in 2020.
Joyce captured the EBU title and the WBO’s number two ranking with a knockout win over unbeaten Daniel Dubois. And Usyk won a tough twelve round unanimous decision over division veteran Derek Chisora.