Anthony Joshua to be given 48 HOURS to prove Tyson Fury fight is on or else WBO will order Oleksandr Usyk bout

ANTHONY JOSHUA will be given 48 HOURS to prove his fight with Tyson Fury is still on or else the WBO will order him to face Oleksandr Usyk.

AJ has been given a heavyweight headache after his undisputed title decider with the Gypsy King was thrown in major doubt.


It came after a US judge ruled in favour of Wilder in arbitration, meaning Fury owes the ex-WBC champion a third fight in their series.

Usyk and the WBO had initially given AJ clearance to put his mandatory title defence on hold to instead proceed with a unification.

But after news of Wilder's legal win, the Ukrainian and his promoter Alexander Krassyuk lobbied to have their title shot called.

The WBO responded by giving AJ and his promoter 48 hours to show they are still fighting Fury or instead be made to face Usyk.

Hearn, a driving force in securing a deal for the all-British unification, hopes the super-fight can still be saved.

But he admitted it is out of his hands and is lining up a backup option in Usyk, 34, who formerly ruled at cruiserweight before moving up.

According to The Athletic, talks are underway for AJ to face the southpaw on either August 21 or 28 should the undisputed fight fall through.

Joshua, 31, and Fury, 32, were all-but ready to put every heavyweight belt on the line on August 14 in Saudi Arabia.

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But that was until Wilder, 35, spoiled the party with his right to a third fight with the Gypsy King.

Fury dethroned the American of the title in February 2020 but their contract included an immediate rematch.

That never came to fruition amid the coronavirus pandemic and the Gypsy King's team argued the stipulation expired in October.

As a result, they entered talks with Joshua all while Wilder took his case to civil court.

And after months the decision went his way, meaning Fury is faced with either fighting him or negotiating a step aside deal.

But that idea was seemingly thrown out by his US promoter Bob Arum and Wilder's new trainer Malik Scott.

Scott, 40, posted: “Wilder declined and had no interest in step-aside money. Y’all dealing with a whole different type motherf***a over here.

"He want the blood, not that step-aside money. ‘Retribution is upon us’.”


And Arum told ESPN: "We're not paying Wilder to step aside. It's better to get rid of him. We can make Fury vs AJ for November or December."

The Top Rank boss also said he has reserved the new 65,000-seater Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for July 24 should Fury have to box Wilder again.

With things looking bleak, Hearn revealed he will give Fury's side until the end of the week to resolve their trilogy dispute.

Hearn said on Matchroom Boxing's YouTube channel: “I have been focusing on Plan A. The only fight we had our mind on was Tyson Fury.

“We hope that that fight can still take place on August 14th.

"The game changed last night where we have to have a plan B in place, and probably a plan C as well.

“We have a couple of different options; of course, the one that springs to mind immediately is the WBO mandatory of Oleksandr Usyk.

“They have been quite patient and I think really, we are in a situation where if Team Fury don’t get themselves together, get their act together, by the end of this week, we will have no option but to look for an alternative fight."

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