By: Sean Cross
It’s clear that Tyson Fury wants to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But for that to happen, the WBC and lineal heavyweight champions of the WBA, IBF and WBO must defeat Oleksandr Usyk. A Fury-Usyk matchup seems plausible, as Usyk, like Fury, clearly wants to be the sole ruler of the heavyweight division. The problem, of course, is modern boxing, which often stifles its own progress with squabbling, hair-splitting, biased and harmful bureaucratic regulations. Fortunately for Fury and Usyk, the WBC appears to be clearing the way for the two men to drop the proverbial marbles.
Sky Sports According to Fury, “If a follow-up fight is possible, he will not be forced to box a mandatory opponent before his fight against unified WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight champion Tyliste Usik.” That allows Fury to breathe easy, as old foe Deontay Wilder is set to face former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz in a WBC title eliminator. “There was a real need for anger against Usyk.” Sky Sports WBC honcho Mauricio Suleiman was quoted as saying, “This is a great opportunity, and then once the winner is confirmed, he will have to fight the WBC’s mandate.
All of this means the WBC will be willing to put a stop to Fury to face the winner of Wilder-Ruiz, as long as the winner wins the fight between Fury and Usyk. The idea of the Fury-Usick winner taking on the Wilder-Ruiz winner should be appealing, even if Fury finishes Wilder for the fourth time. While Fury has beaten Wilder twice and fought to a draw once, the past three bouts between the two men have undoubtedly been memorable, with each fighter hitting the mat on multiple occasions.
Although things have a way of not working out in the modern wrestling arena (for example, there are three major belts in addition to the WBC), Suleiman seems to feel that things can work out right this time. He said of the Fury-Usyk match: “If it happens, it will be a great fight for the world, and the WBC will support it as long as the mandatory challenger’s rights are not violated. So now seems like a very good time for it to happen. Indeed.