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World Boxing Association release statement on Oleksandr Usyk

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The World Boxing Association have moved to comment on the situation regarding now former cruiserweight title holder Oleksandr Usyk.

As WBN revealed on Thursday, Usyk will relinquish all of his championships over the coming days. The 32 year-old will pursue a shot at heavyweight ruler Anthony Joshua.

Usyk is being lined up for Joshua soon. This comes after being promised an opportunity by Eddie Hearn when joining DAZN.

By 2020, and after two or three heavyweight bouts, Usyk and Joshua will share a ring.

The only way the fight doesn’t take place is if Joshua loses prior. With a fight against Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury further away than ever, that scenario seems unlikely to happen in 2019.

Joshua battles Jarrell Miller on June 1 in New York. This is expected to face IBF mandated challenger Kubrat Pulev.

Airing their views on the matter, the WBA said a stipulated mandatory fight with ‘Champion in Recess’ Denis Lebedev was obviously now cancelled.

“This March 27, Ukranian Oleksandr Usyk announced through a personalized letter directed to the World Boxing Association (WBA) that states his desire to compete in the heavyweight division,” said the WBA.

“With this step towards the heavyweight division comes the relinquishment of his WBA Cruiserweight championship.

“The gladiator of eastern Europe also known as “Southpaw” captured the WBA Championship in Moscow, Russia this past 21st of July. He defeated the hometown favorite Murat Gassiev by unanimous decision.

“Just four months later, he defended his title against U.K’s Tony Bellew. Whom he defeated by technical knockout in the eighth round.

“Given the new circumstances in the future of Usyk’s career, the purse bid that had been announced by the champions committee between Usyk’s team and his would-be opponent – Russia’s very own Denis Lebedev is now suspended.

Lebedev should now be put forward for a shot at ‘regular’ title holder Beibut Shumenov. A ruling will be made soon.


  • ‘Super’ cruiserweight title vacant

  • Usyk v Lebedev called off

  • WBA ruling soon