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Home » IBF, Team Hrgovic keeping quiet over stripping of Usyk’s title

IBF, Team Hrgovic keeping quiet over stripping of Usyk’s title

World Boxing News reached out to both the IBF and Filip Hrgovic’s team to clarify intentions over Oleksandr Usyk’s championship.

WBN met widespread reports that Usyk will one hundred percent be stripped of his IBF title with skepticism in a recent article. The possibility of Tyson Fury retiring isn’t considered, nor is the fact that Turki Alalshikh could offer Hrgovic an incentive to step aside one more time to allow the rematch. Both the IBF and Hrgovic need to address those points.

However, when contacted by WBN, the International Boxing Federation, and Hrgovic’s representatives didn’t respond. This could be construed as a bad sign for Usyk in his bid to remain undisputed champion for even one title defense.

Hrgovic faces Daniel Dubois on June 1, and the latter’s promoter, Frank Warren, believes the IBF title will be on the line.

“He’s [Usyk] done something no one else has done. He’s unified the four belts,” Warren told Sky Sports. “Four belts on the line is the start. I’m quite sure they’ll fragment after that. And then it’ll happen again.

“We’re in such a good place as a sport, and such good things are happening that you just can’t see it ending because there are so many good fights to be made. We’ve got the [Usyk vs Fury] rematch, provided AJ keeps winning [he can be in the mix], and then you’ve got all our youngsters coming through.”

Warren’s big plan, along with his new promotional friend Eddie Hearn, is for his charge Dubois to defeat Hrgovic and go on to a blockbuster at Wembley against Anthony Joshua.

“Hrgovic and him [Dubois] is a great fight, and the winner of that, I think everybody’s going to be happy with who the winner fights. I’d love to see that happen [Joshua vs Dubois]. I’d like to see Daniel come through, I’d love to see an all-Brit affair. Who knows? We’ll see.”

Joshua being handed another title shot at the expense of Usyk, who defeated him twice, is typical of where boxing is right now. Sanctioning bodies, with all their good intentions, continually get it wrong when it comes to common sense prevailing.

The consensus is that Usyk should be given one last reprieve due to Fury’s delaying their fight twice and for over six months. Under pressure from other promoters, the IBF seemingly won’t consider that. Usyk is being seen as holding up the division despite only having the crown for a matter of days.

The Fury rematch should have all the titles on the line if it happens and “The Gypsy King” doesn’t retire. They both deserve that much, and the IBF should give only interim title status to Hrgovic vs Dubois until the four-belt champion is free.

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.