WBO Issues Ultimatum to Anthony Joshua – Will Order Him to Face Oleksandr Usyk Next

Published 05/20/2021, 12:00 PM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 06: Anthony Joshua speaks with Eddie Hearn during the press conference for Andy Ruiz Jr. v Anthony Joshua 2 ‘Clash on the Dunes’ at the Hilton Syon Park on September 06, 2019 in London, England. Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr will have a Heavyweight World Title rematch fight on December 7th 2019 in the historical town of Diriyah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


The collapse of the Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua undisputed title bout has shocked the boxing world. After months of speculation, Fury finally announced that the two heavyweight champions would battle it out on August 14. However, the fight is now off since Fury has to face his old-foe, Deontay Wilder.

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This latest development was because Wilder won his case against ‘The Gypsy King’. As a domino effect of one bout collapsing, the WBO has issued an ultimatum to Anthony Joshua to clear the air on the situation.

DIRIYAH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 07: Anthony Joshua looks on with a cut to his left eye during the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua during the Matchroom Boxing ‘Clash on the Dunes’ show at the Diriyah Season on December 07, 2019 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The World Boxing Organization put out an official statement to Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn. In the document, the WBO clarified that Joshua and his team have 48 hours to resolve the Tyson Fury situation and confirm whether the bout is still going ahead.

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READ MORE: Unorthodox But Effective- How WBC Champion Tyson Fury Trains

Moreover, the document also confirmed that if Joshua cannot do this in 48 hours, they will order a bout between him and the mandatory challenger, Oleksandr Usyk. Therefore, ‘AJ’ has his work cut out for him regarding his future.

Why will Anthony Joshua have to face Oleksandr Usyk?

As the champion in an exciting heavyweight division, Joshua has no shortage of options. However, the document clearly mentioned he would have to face the Ukrainian next. So why does ‘AJ’ have to defend his belts against Usyk, who only has two fights at heavyweight?

Usyk beat Derek Chisora at the back end of 2020, and despite it being his second victory in the division, it ensured he would be the mandatory challenger for the WBO belt. In addition, the Ukrainian has also called out Joshua and said he would beat him. Therefore, it would be an exciting fight between the two.

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Oleksandr Usyk celebrates his victory against Tony Bellew in their cruiserweight boxing bout Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Manchester, England. Usyk successfully defended his four belts and likely sent Bellew into retirement by knocking out the British fighter in the eighth round. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

The WBO had previously ordered a bout between Usyk and Joe Joyce, who sits at second in the WBO rankings. The winner of that fight would have faced the winner of the Fury-Joshua bout. However, given the collapse of the bout, it appears as though Joshua will face Usyk, while Joyce will be without an opponent again.

What do you make of this news regarding Anthony Joshua? Do you think he can beat Usyk to set up a fight against Tyson Fury in the future?

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Leonardo Carvalho

1042 articles

Leonardo Carvalho is a Boxing Writer for EssentiallySports. Before working as a boxing web journalist, Leonardo dabbled in roles ranging from an SEO specialist to a Chegg expert. Alongside his current role, Leonardo runs a YouTube channel where he combines his passion for fitness with sports.

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