23
Oct
2020

Undisputed Heavyweight Tournament swells to seven, faces fragmentation

Phil Jay 15/10/2020
Undisputed Heavyweight Tournament

The unofficial Undisputed Heavyweight Tournament has swelled to seven competitors following an admission by Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren.

Warren sees the winner of his big top division battle between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce securing an immediate title shot in 2021.

Dubois is rated number two in the current WBO heavyweight rankings. Should he defeat eleven-ranked Joyce, the British powerhouse would have a big claim for a WBO shot.

The situation is compounded by Anthony Joshua eyeing up a collision with Tyson Fury and has his mandatory in Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua could vacate the belt in 2021 if he can deal with IBF stipulation Kubrat Pulev.

Therefore, Dubois and Joyce enter the fray as the heavyweight division pushes towards one sole ruler at the back end of 2021.

So how will it all work out now that two new competitors are in the frame?

Well, Usyk vs. Chisora is first up on October 31. The winner obviously will move closer to a WBO title shot.

Sadly for Dillian Whyte, his loss to Alexander Povetkin removed him from the competition. That’s unless he can gain revenge.

Next up is Joshua vs. Pulev. The winner should then theoretically battle Usyk or Chisora. If AJ vacates, then the winner of Usyk vs. Chisora should fight the Dubois vs. Joyce victor. But this would fragment the tournament and probably delay the conclusion of undisputed.

That’s one side of the draw done – with one of those six eventually pushing towards Fury for the WBC strap, hopefully by the end of 2021 or in 2022.

Undisputed Heavyweight Tournament

At present, Fury is in no-mans-land due to his trilogy with Deontay Wilder being up in the air.

Fury is on the lookout for at least one opponent while he waits for Joshua. The earliest date for Fury vs. AJ looks to be June 2021, but that’s only if the latter is willing to give up a title.

If he doesn’t, Joshua fights Pulev and Usyk. At the same time, Dubois or Joyce will be out of the loop for now.

The situation is getting more and more complicated by the day.

UNDISPUTED HEAVYWEIGHT TIMELINE

Usyk vs. Chisora – Oct 31, 2020 (WBO mandatory)

Joshua vs Pulev – Dec 12, 2020 (IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO)

Fury vs TBA – Dec 2020 (WBC)

Usyk/Chisora vs Dubois/Joyce – Spring 2021 (vacant WBO)

Fury vs. Joshua – June 2021 (WBC, IBF, WBA, IBO)

Fury vs. Joshua II – Fall 2021 (WBC, IBF, WBA, IBO)

Final

Fury or Joshua vs WBO Champion – 2022 (Undisputed)


Current WBO Top 15 Rankings

CHAMPION – ANTHONY JOSHUA UK
1 Oleksandr Usyk (Super Champion) UKR
2 Daniel Dubois (International) the UK
3 Joseph Parker NZ
4 Kubrat Pulev BUL
5 Andy Ruiz, Jr. USA
6 Junior Fa NZ
7 Michael Hunter the USA
8 Dereck Chisora (Int-Cont) the UK
9 Evgeny Romanov (WBO Global) RUS
10 Frank Sanchez Faure (NABO) CUB
11 Joe Joyce UK
12 Zhilei Zhang (Oriental) CHN
13 Demsey McKean (Asia-Pacific) AUST
14 Tom Schwarz GER
15 Fillip Hrgovic CRO
** Erik Pfeifer (WBO Europe) GER

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