Usyk To Be Stripped By The IBF – Fury’s Undisputed Dream Over Before The Rematch

May 21, 2024
4 weeks
Usyk To Be Stripped By The IBF - Fury's Undisputed Dream Over Before The Rematch

The IBF will likely order Oleksandr Usyk to face his mandatory, meaning he could vacate or be stripped. 

Usyk became the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World with a split decision win. Now, any rematch with Usyk is unlikely to be undisputed. The IBF will likely call the mandatory, forcing Usyk to decide. If Usyk is to rematch Fury, he must vacate, preventing him from fighting for undisputed.

He is contractually obliged to face Fury, with the rematch planned for October. The same thing happened to Terence Crawford when he was obligated to rematch Errol Spence Jr. The IBF stripped him and made Jaron Ennis the full champion. If a deal with Usyk is not reached, allowing him to keep the belts, then Filip Hrgovic and Daniel Dubois will likely fight for the vacant belt on June 1. 

Hearn Reacts

“The IBF probably, knowing how they will, today or tomorrow, will issue the mandatory obligations to Oleksandr Usyk because it’s quite clear that Hrgovic is waiting for that mandatory. This fight [Tyson Fury vs. Usyk] was allowed on the basis that the winner would have to fight Filip Hrgovic, which everybody knew wasn’t going to be the case. So, unless there’s an agreement between everybody, it’s very likely that the IBF belt will free up and it’ll free up for June 1st, and that will be on the line [for Hrgovic vs. Daniel Dubois in Riyadh]. We’ll see,” Eddie Hearn said

Even if Fury takes the rematch, he will have a tough task. The major turning point of the fight occurred in round nine. Usyk caught Fury with a looping left hand, forcing the Gypsy King to back up. Fury covered himself while he was on the ropes as Usyk teed off with numerous shots. The Gypsy King was bouncing off the ropes, with Usyk on the verge of a stoppage. Just when Usyk could have finished the fight, the referee gave Fury a standing eight count. That prevented Usyk from getting the stoppage.

Usyk Unlucky

The referee could have stopped the fight because Fury was not responding with any punches. Ultimately, it was all academic, as Uysk won the fight. However, the scorecards were closer than the fight had shown. One scorecard had it 114-113 in his favor of Fury, drawing mass criticism. Usyk’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, was unhappy with the scorecard and referring. Krassyuk was clear that the fight should have been waved off. But since it was the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship, that may have swayed the referee’s decision. 

The Gypsy was on the back foot for most of the fight, with the suggestion that the boxing establishment wanted to see Fury face Anthony Joshua. That fight would have been more lucrative had Fury been undisputed. There was also a chance that Fury vs. Joshua could have happened next if the Gypsy King had beaten Usyk. But the result has left Fury with plenty to think about. 

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