Fans of heavyweight boxing have been let down by Tyson Fury’s decision to fight Derek Chisora instead of Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk.
Despite this criticism, there was still hope that the blockbuster clash could happen late in 2023, yet the IBF has thrown a potential roadblock in front of such a bout.
Usyk has been mandated to face Filip Hrgovic in a mandatory defense of his title that was won against Joshua.
Hrgovic defeated Zhang Zhilei on the Saudi Arabian card that hosted the Usyk-Joshua rematch, which qualified him to be the IBF number 1 contender.
Eddie Hearn is involved
Hearn is Hrgovic’s co-promoter, which means he is privy to negotiations and the situation involving a fight against Usyk.
Hearn has been widely criticized for not forcing through a fight between Fury and Joshua, and has risked angering fans more by requesting an immediate purse bid for the Hrgovic fight with Usyk.
“We just got the news through that Oleksandr Usyk has been ordered to fight Filip Hrgovic next, he is the mandatory challenger,” Hearn explained at a DAZN broadcast on Saturday.
This development means that Usyk will not be able to fight Fury until after this bout, at the earliest.
Usyk claims Fury turned it down
Alex Krassyuk, representative of Oleksandr Usyk, assured that Tyson Fury rejected the offer they made him to fight against the Ukrainian to unify the heavyweight belts.
“Fury did not accept the fight when I offered it to him more than a year ago,” the representative said in an interview on the YouTube channel, ESNEWS. “The offer came from the Saudis and the fight was proposed to him, although now he says that it is not true.”