Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter has made it clear that the fighter is not going to roll over and allow the fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to go ahead without something in return.
Usyk is the WBO mandatory challenger to Joshua, and the body have made it clear that they will not delay a challenge any further after the Andy Ruiz Jr rematch and Kubrat Pulev fight.
That gives Usyk the power to bargain with Joshua, and in turn Fury, to allow their proposed fight to go ahead as a fight to crown the champion as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Joshua holds the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO belts, and Fury is WBC champion.
The four-belt champion has mentioned that he may give up the WBO belt, but Eddie Hearn has suggested that a deal could be struck with Usyk, with negotiations underway.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk said: "According to now the deadline is more for Fury and AJ not for Usyk.
"There were talks about an interim title or the AJ vs Fury winner relinquishing the WBO title the next day [after they fight].
"But as for today Usyk is the WBO mandatory and never gave his consent for the [Joshua vs Fury] bout to happen without him.”
Krassyuk then said that Usyk would be ready to go for a title fight in the spring, and is unwilling to schedule another fight before he gets his title shot.
"Usyk is in good condition now, he successfully recovered from his last fight and looks forward to [fighting for] the title this spring,” he said.