Joshua-Usyk Next? WBO Forces Mandatory
We may have another mandatory Heavyweight contest that’s been a long time coming between Unified Champion Anthony Joshua and former Undisputed Cruiserweight champ, now Heavyweight contender, Oleksandr Usyk.
Jake Donovan from Boxingscene and several other sources posted that The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has issued a “Show Cause” letter to Joshua promoter, Eddie Hearn, who has 48 hours to show proof of a showdown between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua being free of restrictions. Failure to do so will force the WBO to order Joshua to next face the WBO’s mandatory challenger, Usyk.
The WBO has issued a "Show Cause" letter to Eddie Hearn, who has 48 hours to show proof of a showdown between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua being free of restrictions. Failure to do so will force the WBO to order Joshua to next face mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.
— Jake Donovan (@JakeNDaBox) May 19, 2021
We should’ve expected as much as WBO President Paco Valcárcel, Esq. hinted as much yesterday afternoon.
The “Show Cause” letter being requested from the WBO is because, like all of us have been hearing, there was a mega fight setup for Undisputed Heavyweight champion between, WBC champ, Tyson Fury and Joshua.
However, the arbitration ruling in favor of Deontay Wilder on Monday seems to have derailed any of that realistically happening barring Wilder considering taking a masssive “step aside” fee. And, Both sides have already essentially dismissed that, as being an option.
The mandatory challenger Usyk has been waiting before the Covid-19 pandemic for a shot at the title currently held by Joshua, since he won the WBO, WBA and IBF belts back from Andy Ruiz in 2019. Joshua fought in one mandatory against IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev last December winning by TKO and this is the next mandatory in line that has been severely delayed.
Also, as part of letting Joshua keep the belt to fight for Undisputed, the WBO wanted to ensure that a subsequent fight with Usyk was happening. Either way, this is a win-win for the WBO.
Hearn spoke with the media yesterday and said that he was looking for a “Plan B or Plan C” for Joshua, if the Fury fight falls through.
Right now, it’s looking like Plan B (fighting Usyk) is being mandated to happen before anything else subsides.