Anthony Joshua rejected any talk from Tyson Fury’s representatives of stepping aside to facilitate an undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua lost to the 34-year-old Ukrainian heavyweight in September last year, but immediately exercised a rematch clause which should allow him the chance to win back his IBF, WBA and WBO belts in early 2022.
There were reports that Joshua would entertain step-aside money from Usyk in order to allow Fury and the three-belt champion to go toe-to-toe to decide who is the undisputed world heavyweight champion.
However Fury appears set to meet his mandatory obligations by fighting interim champion Dillian Whyte.
Speaking to talkSPORT, David KD Ghana - a member of Joshua’s management team - said Eddie Hearn and others have been rejected whenever ducking the Usyk fight has been brought to Joshua.
“In complete honesty, me and Eddie have had conversations with Freddie [Cunningham, Joshua’s manager] and a few of the other guys,” Ghansa said.
“The day that we actually slightly put it to him, we got shut down – it was a complete shutdown.
“AJ knows that, as a management team, we are going to explore all options for him. But the main thing is that he is focused on putting right what he needs to.
“As a management team, we are exploring all the best options and we will put them to him. Ultimately it will be his decision, but he has not entertained it the way it is out there as being entertained.
“So personally from him, I don’t even think we finished that conversation on it, so Usyk.”