Anthony Joshua: “Usyk Will Be Keen To Step Aside For Fury”

Anthony Joshua is hopeful a ‘reasonable’ Oleksandr Usyk will step aside

Anthony Joshua (left), Oleksandr Usyk
Anthony Joshua (left), Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua is hopeful a ‘reasonable’ Oleksandr Usyk will step aside

For quite some time, Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-1, 22 KO’s) has wanted to become the one true undisputed heavyweight champion. And as the owner of the WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight titles, he is only one belt away. The last title that he would need to grab is Tyson “Gypsy King” Fury’s (30-0-1, 21 KO’s) WBC world heavyweight title. Even better, both fighters appear to be keen on fighting one another. However, the last significant hurdle preventing their clash is WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KO’s).

Up to this point, Usyk has shown virtually no desire to wait for a Joshua v Fury fight to take place. After all, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion has heavyweight dreams and ambitions of his own. And waiting on the sidelines is not one of them! Supporting his case, the WBO has ordered Joshua to face Usyk next or vacate his title. Despite these formidable obstacles, Joshua, as he told to the Daily Mail, is very optimistic about staging his fight for undisputed with Fury next. Yet, this is in part due to comments made by Usyk himself.

“I think Usyk will be keen to step aside and let the fight happen. We’ve reached out to his management team. He’s a reasonable person and he’ll understand the magnitude of this situation.”


There is no question that Fury v Joshua is the biggest heavyweight bout that can be contracted right now. Both men are at the top of their game and two UK fighters battling to be the undisputed heavyweight champion would be a historical first. After reviewing those facts, it obvious why AJ and the Gypsy King want the prizefight to happen. On the other hand, none of these rationales mean anything to Usyk! He simply wants his shot at a world championship title in a second division.

So far, it was looking like Joshua was willing to vacate his WBO belt for the Fury fight. If he did that however, while still meaningful, his bout with the WBC champ would no longer be for undisputed. Seeking to avoid breaking his belts apart, Team Joshua is now trying to appeal to the Ukrainian’s sense of reason. In the end however, AJ would be happy to fight either man as both would only bolster his resume; although it is evident that he prefers the dust-up with Fury. In the end though, we will just have to wait and see how the behind the curtains haggling plays out.

“If I go right I’ve got Tyson Fury – tough fight. If I go left, I’ve got Usyk, another tough fight. Ideally I’ll go right but ultimately all I want to do is focus on the fight. It’s a challenge for me. I respect Fury, he’s done great things. But I want to challenge myself. If that’s with Tyson Fury for the WBC title, I promise you I will go that route. I will take that opportunity with both hands and both feet.”

By: Bakari Simpson

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Bakari is a Senior Writer for Visit to view more of his literary work.