18
Sep
2020

WBC shot could entice Oleksandr Usyk, lift Fury vs Joshua WBO blockade

Phil Jay 25/08/2020
Oleksandr Usyk vs Alexander Povetkin

Mark Robinson / Ed Mulholland

A victory for Alexander Povetkin over Dillian Whyte has opened the door for a massive clash between the Russian and Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.

Firstly, promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy is already working on a potential Povetkin vs Usyk encounter for the WBC interim heavyweight title.

Despite recent reports of a rematch with Whyte in December, Usyk could be pushed forward first as the former contemplates a short break.

This would put Usyk in the realm of a WBC heavyweight title shot in the future, if successful against Povetkin.

It also means the WBO would have to reconsider their mandatory order, due to the fact Usyk is competing for another organization’s interim strap.

Outlining the irons currently in the fire, Ryabinskiy told TASS: “We are now in negotiations about the next fight and, in theory, it can be the bout against Usyk.

“It could have been one of the most interesting fights between the two Olympic champions with an outstanding boxing background.

“Sasha (Povetkin) wants to keep boxing with the best opponents and Usyk is one of the best.”

Alexander Povetkin
Mark Robinson

On the two heavyweights being friends, Ryabinskiy added: “This fight can only be hindered by the fact that Povetkin and Usyk are on very good terms with each other.

“It would not be good to see them testing their relationship in the ring.

“On the other hand, this fight may possibly become an outstanding performance with the two boxers. They have respect for each other.”

Addressing Whyte possibly protesting the idea, Ryabinskiy admitted the Briton would have the first refusal on Povetkin.

“We are eyeing all other possible variants. But in line with our existing contract, we are scheduled for a return bout with Whyte,” he confirmed.


OLEKSANDR USYK ROADBLOCK

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, who also handles Anthony Joshua, will have a say in what happens in the immediate future.

The Essex man knows that removing Usyk from the WBO picture leaves Joshua free to face Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight crown.

At present, Fury and Joshua have obligations. Fury has one and AJ has two. Usyk is a firm roadblock to a summer showdown.

Pushing Povetkin vs Usyk means a WBO reprieve from the stipulation laid down on Joshua. It would also mean Whyte can rest before facing the winner of Povetkin vs Usyk.

Fury vs Joshua and Povetkin or Usyk vs Whyte could then become part of Matchroom and Sky’s summer schedule and keep the UK fans happy in the meantime.

Furthermore, the outcome could be pleasing for all.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.