Oleksandr Usyk defending his WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight belts against Deontay Wilder is a dream fight for next year.
However, there are now two roadblocks that stand in the way of boxing fans seeing one of the top division’s super-bouts.
Following Joe Joyce’s WBO interim title victory over Joseph Parker, Usyk has a mandatory challenger. At the same time, Al Haymon has plans to pit Wilder against Andy Ruiz Jr. in an in-house Premier Boxing Champions event.
Can Oleksandr Usyk vs Deontay Wilder happen next?
After discussions with the WBC, Haymon managed to gain sanctions for two heavyweight fights. The first was Ruiz vs Luis Ortiz in September. The second Wilder against Robert Helenius next month.
Therefore, it seems unlikely that Haymon will divert from that plan immediately. If Usyk is allowed by the WBO to delay the Joyce fight and does make a serious offer to Wilder, it could happen.
But at this point, the PBC has eyes firmly fixed on the Wilder vs Ruiz WBC final eliminator that could become a reality after “The Bronze Bomber” battle the big Finn.
Whoever wins from Wilder [or Helenius] vs Ruiz Jr. will be the mandatory and number one contender for WBC champion Tyson Fury’s title.
“The Gypsy King” is looking at fighting in December. Mahmoud Charr is the current favorite to be in the opposite corner.
Where Fury goes after that is anyone’s guess. If he can’t secure a massive fight, the 34-year-old may call it a day.
Wilder vs Ruiz
The WBC would then sanction its two best heavyweights in the rankings, Wilder vs Ruiz, for the vacant title. That’s a significant factor in why Haymon will be holding off on Usyk as much as possible.
At a recent workout for his battle against Helenius at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Wilder discussed a potential Usyk blockbuster.
The Alabama Slammer from Tuscaloosa is favored for another knockout against Helenius. The top-ranked WBC fighter will want a huge event to sink his teeth into next year.
Wilder even hopes Usyk will be ringside to witness his WBC heavyweight title eliminator.
“It’s music to my ears [that Usyk might be ringside]. I hold Usyk to be a very honorable person and a man of his word. So I’m looking forward to that,” said Wilder.
“I’m not looking past Robert by any means. It’s good to know that Usyk will be in the arena. Welcome to a great show.
“And to all the fans, welcome to a great show for whoever is watching and attending, but I’m not looking past Robert.
“For Usyk to be able to bless me with a title shot when I’ve blessed so many during my reign, it’s a great feeling.
“So we’re going to get past October 15, and then after that, we can see what happens.”
Deontay Wilder Options
Eluding to Andy Ruiz Jr also being in the frame but that Usyk would be the priority, Wilder added: “I’ve got a lot of things lined up. A lot of options are in the works for me.
“But when dealing with a title shot, you’ve got to jump on it when the opportunity presents itself.”
Trainer Malik Scott would love to see his man earn a unified title shot at the venue, where he holds a one hundred percent record of KOs.
However, Scott also threw in another curveball name.
“Coming from a coaching standpoint, it works perfectly for me. Because Deontay Wilder is big-time boxing,” stated Scott.
“Robert Helenius, in my opinion, this is a big, dangerous fight. Deontay is going to pass this test with flying colors.
Usyk or Joshua
“After that, my opinion of his next opponent is that it should possibly be Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua. These are the kind of fights he gets up for.
“I truly believe that Deontay Wilder is the only heavyweight in the world that can beat Oleksandr Usyk.
“I have so many reasons to back that up.”
Right now, Wilder has to do his business and get back to winning ways. He must show why he’s one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet.
Previously in New York, Wilder scored two massive first round knockouts against Dominic Breazeale and Bermane Stiverne.
Something similar would be the order of the day so the PBC boxing star can get back in the WBC title mix.
If Usyk comes calling, that’s merely a bonus at this point.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.