WBC president open to Joshua facing Fury-Usyk victor

The WBC is open to the prospect of Anthony Joshua facing the winner of Tyson Fury’s huge undisputed bout with Oleksandr Usyk, says the organisation’s president Mauricio Sulaiman.

Joshua has moved back into title contention with four straight victories, the latest coming against Francis Ngannou last week, after suffering back-to-back losses to Usyk in 2020 and 2021.

He now appears primed for a headline meeting with either Fury or Usyk, one of whom will become undisputed world heavyweight champion when they meet in Saudi Arabia on May 18, after a cut to Fury’s eye forced that fight to be pushed back from its original February date.

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Speaking to Sky Sports, Sulaiman said the WBC will not stand in the way of Joshua getting a shot at the title, though he noted a rematch was part of the deal between Fury and Usyk.

“The WBC was presented a sanction request which was to fight for the undisputed. The WBC accepted that sanctioning and we accepted the rematch they have requested,” Sulaiman said.

“But if it is not anything to do with contractual or promotion, we would absolutely accept the winner fighting Joshua.

“The WBC has been very much attentive to this matter. We have completely freed the ground for the undisputed, for a rematch, and for another fight of that level.

“The WBC’s position right now is very open to support the undisputed champion taking on the fights that the fans want to see.”

Joshua sent out a message regarding his title intentions on Friday, flooring Ngannou three times en route to a second-round knockout of the former UFC heavyweight champion, who went the distance with Fury on his boxing debut last October.

“It was unbelievable,” Sulaiman said of Joshua’s display “He looked like a champion of the world. He was tremendous, powerful, precise and he made a statement.

“I am very proud and happy for him. That is how the world is, they judge you by your last performance and now he is a force, everybody is claiming he is the best heavyweight in the world.

“Last year they were saying he was washed up. Now, everyone is saying Fury is all washed up but we will see on May 18.”

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