By Charles Brun: The IBF has notified IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk & WBC champ Tyson Fury that the winner of their undisputed contest, which could take place in December, must face IBF mandatory Filip Hrgovic.
That means the Fury-Usyk won’t be able to fight an immediate rematch unless the IBF title is vacated.
Eddie Hearn is apoplectic about the IBF not ordering Usyk to defend against Hrgovic following the Ukrainian fighter’s ninth round knockout win over Daniel Dubois last August. Hearn is furious about the IBF waiting until after the Fury vs. Usyk fight had been negotiated and announced before they sent the letter saying that the winner must face Hrgovic.
Given how much money Fury & Usyk will be getting from the Saudis, the winner of their fight in December will have no problem vacating the IBF belt, allowing Hrgovic to battle for the strap against the next highest-ranked, willing contender. That would be Anthony Joshua.
There’s way too much dough on the line for the rematch between Fury and Usyk for them to bother with Hrgovic, who isn’t a popular fighter.
It’s unclear whether Joshua will agree to fight Hrgovic for the IBF belt because it would be a dangerous bout for AJ and maybe too risky for him.
“IBF sent a letter stipulating winner of Fury-Usyk must make a mandatory defense without any intervening bouts. That includes a rematch. Filip Hrgovic is ready for his shot. If the title is vacated, right now, that bout would come against Anthony Joshua,” said Mike Coppinger on social media.
The deal for the Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk undisputed heavyweight championship fight contains a two-way rematch clause that the loser of the matchup can trigger for a return bout, sources told ESPN.https://t.co/Fj04bKhffj
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) October 5, 2023
“The reality is the IBF should have sent negotiations like they do it for smaller champions, and they would have sent the letter immediately, but they didn’t send this letter. They waited for negotiations to carry on, and now we have a contract signed [between Tyson Fury & Oleksandr Usyk],” said Eddie Hearn to Secondsout about his unhappiness with the IBF for not ordering International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Usyk to defend against his mandatory Filip Hrgovic next.
“Have they been sent to the IBF? Why wasn’t the mandatory called for Filip Hrgovic after the Dubois fight, which it should have been? So obviously, Sauerland and us are partners on Filip Hrgovic and are heavily invested in [him].
“We were told he had to fight that fight against [Demsey] McKean to make sure that he could get ordered. So we’ve given him a fight, we’ve paid the purses for that fight, really on the provide that he’s mandatory, and if he’s mandatory, that should have been called straight after the [Usyk vs.] Dubois fight,” said Hearn.