Oleksandr Usyk vs Joe Joyce officially ordered for ‘interim’ belt, allowing Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury to proceed for undisputed heavyweight championship
Oleksandr Usyk vs Joe Joyce is likely heading for purse bids after being ordered to take place for the WBO ‘interim’ heavyweight belt, according to Eddie Hearn.
The situation with Usyk, who currently sits as Anthony Joshua’s WBO mandatory challenger, was an inconvenience for AJ’s plans to fight Tyson Fury next for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
For a fight to be ‘undisputed’, all four belts – the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO – must be on the line.
As the overdue WBO mandatory, Usyk insisted that he must either get to fight AJ next or the Brit must vacate his belt.
However, it appears a solution has been worked out.
The WBO have ordered Usyk to face the second-highest heavyweight in their rankings, Joe Joyce.
This bout will be for an ‘interim’ belt, which will almost certainly see the winner upgraded to become the full champion after Joshua vs Fury.
It is known that AJ and Fury plan to fight two times this year, and so it is thought that their first meeting will crown an undisputed champion, with the WBO belt then vacated before the rematch.
This would mean that the Usyk vs Joyce winner is upgraded to become the full WBO world champion.
Joshua’s promoter Hearn, who has also co-promoted Usyk in recent fights, confirmed this news this morning as he revealed that Usyk vs Joyce is likely heading to purse bids.