Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk remain in talks about a rematch which remains the preferred option for the new champion, says his promoter, while Tyson Fury’s negotiation with Dillian Whyte rumbles on.
Joshua has triggered a rematch clause to fight Usyk again and attempt to claw back his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships.
But, since their first fight in September, a date and a location for a second clash has not been finalised.
“Many things are happening at the moment,” Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports.
“Soon we will unveil everything.”
Asked if Joshua was the only fight that Usyk was considering, Krassyuk described it as the “basic option”.
Fury has criticised Joshua: “He hasn’t got the bottle to fight Usyk again.
“Usyk will smash him. Never mind beating him on points – he’d knock him out.”
Joshua had previously been linked with allowing Usyk to instead Fury. Krassyuk had said: “I heard that Joshua could consider stepping aside if the money is right as he feels respect to the division and is willing to let the undisputed heavyweight championship happen.”
But Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had shot down that suggestion: “AJ is already in camp physically and mentally for the Usyk rematch, and it’s all he has thought about since the night of the first fight.”
Joshua is expected to enter a second fight with Usyk with a new training team – he has spent time recently in the gym with veteran US-based trainers including Virgil Hunter, Ronnie Shields and Eddy Reynoso.
Fury is in talks to defend his WBC title against mandatory challenger Whyte – on Tuesday, if a private agreement has not been found, their negotiation will go to ‘purse bids’ allowing any promoter to finance and stage the fight.
Fury’s US-based promoter Bob Arum told Sky Sports: “Let’s let Usyk fight Joshua, which is contracted, and let’s get Fury to fight Whyte.”
Whyte is currently in arbitration with the WBC.
Neither of the heavyweight division’s two biggest expected fights have yet been agreed.
Tuesday’s deadline for a private arrangement between Fury and Whyte – and the beginning of a purse bid – could kick-start both their fight, and Usyk vs Joshua, into finalising dates to return to the ring.
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
Sunday January 30 – Top Rank in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez – WBC super-featherweight title eliminator
Saturday February 5 (targeted) – BOXXER in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin – IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles
Saturday February 19 – BOXXER in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Frazer Clarke’s pro debut
Saturday February 26 – BOXXER and Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight titles
Saturday March 5 – Top Rank in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza