Eddie Hearn Expects Deal With Oleksandr Usyk, Otherwise Joshua Will Vacate WBO Title


Eddie Hearn is expecting smooth sailing with the camp of Oleksandr Usyk.

Following the cancelation of his fight with Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua has since been ordered by the WBO to face his mandatory in Usyk.

Joshua’s promoter Hearn has worked plenty with Usyk and his team and doesn’t envision any problems as far as getting a fight made.

“I feel like as long as the deal goes smoothly … and no one tries to be clever, then I think that fight is quite automatic,” Hearn said recently (via Boxing Scene). “And the way that the conversations have been going with Alex Krassyuk [Usyk’s promoter], who I’ve worked with for the last three [Usyk] fights anyway, [have] been sensible.

“So, as long as everyone’s sensible, that’s the fight. And I think it’s a very good fight. It’s not the Fury fight, which is the one we wanted, but it’s still a very good fight.”

However, the WBO only gave both sides until Tuesday to reach an agreement.

That said, Hearn believes it’s not a hard deadline and that more leeway can be granted in reaching a deal.

“I do think where we are with negotiations, we would probably say to the WBO, if there’s no deal by Monday or Tuesday, could we have another week, please?” Hearn said. “Like if both teams say that, then they’ll give you more time, you know?”

If the WBO doesn’t oblige and orders a purse bid, Joshua will likely vacate his WBO title as per Hearn.

“We’ll either make a deal or we’ll vacate,” Hearn added. “I mean, we won’t be going to purse bids or anything like that, and mucking around. By the way, I don’t blame the WBO. They were actually quite generous to us with our time. I mean, let’s be honest – it dragged on a lot, didn’t it? So, I have to take my hat off to [WBO president] Paco Valcarcel, because he did put himself, his neck on the line, to allow that fight, when Usyk had a strong case for it not to be allowed.

“But when the time come, [Valcarcel] had to do what he had to do. So, I’m not annoyed with the WBO. I’m just annoyed that it seems that basically AJ is told who he’s gotta fight every single time. But that’s the problem of having three or four belts. That’s just how it is.”

Hopefully, a deal with Usyk is reached promptly.