Skip to content
Home » Two reasons why Usyk will likely keep his Undisputed crown

Two reasons why Usyk will likely keep his Undisputed crown

  • by
  • 3 min read

It’s no secret that Oleksandr Usyk faces losing one of his titles in the coming weeks, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.

That unthinkable scenario so soon after his glorious night only happens if Tyson Fury activates the rematch clause.

The IBF is waiting in the wings to act, as they did with Fury in 2015, to take the title away from Usyk if their mandatory challenger fails to gain his opportunity. Right now, that man is undefeated Croatian star Filip Hrgovic. Hrgovic puts his spot on the line against Usyk’s ex-opponent, Daniel Dubois, on June 1. Once that fight is in the books, the IBF will order negotiations to begin within days. If they don’t strike up discussions in time, the International Boxing Federation will move to strip Usyk of the red belt.

Usyk and his backers can save that title two-fold, though. It’s conceivable that he can keep all his championships as the Undisputed King of Boxing. His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, a known advocate for having one champion, could offer Hrgovic a massive paycheck to wait until 2025 – just one more fight. Hrgovic has already accepted two payments, so taking a third isn’t out of the question.

The second is Fury negating his second fight option. It’s also highly likely that Fury will want to take the rest of the year off and contemplate his future after the loss. Therefore, Usyk could fit his IBF stipulation in before the end of the year. Fury can then gather his thoughts, and if he wants to rematch Usyk, he can do so. “The Gypsy King” could also decide to face Anthony Joshua – eeffectively taking the easier option instead.

Fury’s words after the contest pointed towards a return with Usyk, but it’s a known fact that the former champion changes his mind on the flip of a coin.

“I believe I won that fight. I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I thought I won the majority of them. What can you do? These are the decisions in boxing,” said Fury.

“We both put on a good fight, the best we could do. We go back, have a little rest, and spend some time with our families. Then we can get it back on in October,” he added.

Either fighter returning in October seems too soon after a hellacious battle at the Kingdom Arena. November or December seems like a more tangible date for a second fight or Usyk’s first defense.

But as things stand, it looks positive for Usyk regarding holding on to all the titles he finally unified on Saturday night. The Pound for Pound number one is basking in his glory of defeating Fury decisively despite what the split decision scorecards read in Riyadh.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.