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28th May 2024

Anthony Joshua’s world title hopes dealt major blow after shock Usyk U-turn 

Callum Boyle

Anthony Joshua Oleksandr Usyk

A big blow for AJ

Oleksandr Usyk has begun talks to keep his IBF heavyweight title following his victory against Tyson Fury.

Usyk became the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 as he inflicted a career-first defeat for the Gypsy King with a unanimous points win.

After the fight it was revealed that Usyk would only remain the undisputed champion for two weeks before having to relieve his IBF belt ahead of his rematch with Fury.

Filip Hrgovic is an overdue mandatory challenger and is set to face Daniel Dubois on June 1 for the soon-to-be vacant heavyweight title.

Joshua was then hoping to take on the winner of the Hrgovic-Dubois bout later this year at Wembley Stadium however all three may be dealt a huge blow.

Usyk deals blow to the three heavyweights

According to TalkSPORT, Usyk has now filed for an ‘exception’ to keep his IBF crown and label as undisputed champion intact.

An official request has been sent and is now being considered by IBF president Daryl Peoples.

If granted, the Ukrainian will be able to hold all four titles ahead of his rematch against Fury. Additionally, should he win the rematch as well, he would then most likely be forced to fight the IBF mandatory challenger.

As for the upcoming Hrgovic vs Dubois heavyweight would become an eliminator for the undisputed title, with an IBF ‘interim’ belt on the line instead.

Joshua will now have to wait and see what happens however he may choose to take on Fury in a non-title fight next year if Usyk wins again.

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