Oleksandr Usyk vs. Joe Joyce is held up as negotiations have stalled, according to promoter Frank Warren.
Usyk and Joyce are reportedly in a dispute over the split of the financial rewards for the fight, with current WBO interim champion Usyk now ordered to meet Joyce in an eliminator. There is a chance that the winner will fight the winner of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. However, it is also possible that the interim champion will be elevated to outright champion in the aftermath of Fury-Joshua. Warren explained that Usyk is in no rush to make a fight in the hopes of going straight to a fight with Joshua should he fail to take on Fury.
“We got him in the position. We lobbied the WBO to get him into the position," Warren told BT Sport. "The WBO called for the fight to be made between Usyk and Joe for the interim title. But everything’s at an impasse now. They’ve given a period of time to allow for the Tyson vs. AJ fight to take place. If it doesn’t, then they’re going to tell AJ that he’s gotta make his defence against his mandatory, who is Usyk. So Usyk doesn’t want to be getting involved in an interim – he just wants to go straight for the title. So we’re at a little bit of an impasse. Until we get this fight resolved between Tyson and AJ, we are where we are.
“I think that’s going to come to a head fairly soon. We’ve not had an offer that we feel is suitable. We’re awaiting an amended offer, and once we get that, then all the interested parties can consider it. We’ve all got a will to make this fight happen. It’s a no-brainer for us to get it on. But it’s when it goes on, where it goes on, and a couple of other issues that need to be resolved."
Warren also said that he would be looking to line up a fight for Joyce this summer, whether or not the opponent is the Ukrainian.
“Until we get at least a binding deal memo, we are where we are,” he confirmed. “So unfortunately, Joe’s suffering. I wanna get Joe out. He had a good win. I’d have liked him to have fought on Saturday. I’d like to have him out by now. He will be out sometime, no doubt about it, in June, whatever happens. If it’s Usyk or not, he’ll be out.”