FORMER world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua is considering a multi-million pound offer to step aside and allow Oleksandr Usyk who defeated him to engage in a unification fight with Tyson Fury.
In September, Joshua lost his World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) titles to Ukranian Usyk when they met at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Following the loss, Joshua’s management team immediately asked for a rematch in line with the terms of their contract.
Prior to his loss to Usyk, Joshua had been planning a unification fight with Tyson Fury, who currently holds the World Boxing Council (WBC) belt. Now, however, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has hinted the boxer would be willing to step aside and allow Fury to face Usyk for £40m.
Joshua who has since triggered his rematch clause, was scheduled to fight Usyk in March or April next year. However, there is now speculation that Joshua will instead accept an offer to step aside for a potential bout between Usyk and Fury, which would crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in over two decades.
Fury, who retained his WBC title by knocking out Deontay Wilder, was on the verge of agreeing to face Dillian Whyte in his next bout but the WBC refused to name him as his mandatory challenger. As a result, Fury has turned his attention to an undisputed battle with Usyk.
Mr Hearn said: “Seven figures? A million? If you want to get him not to fight Oleksandr Usyk you have to times that by 40.”
“At the moment there is communication between the two teams to say is it something and the answer is Anthony Joshua has not been spoken about this yet. I’ll deal with it and when I feel there’s an opportunity for Anthony we’ll sit down with them and present it to them but I won’t do that until it’s the right opportunity.”