LONDON. — Derek Chisora’s manager David Haye claims Oleksandr Usyk is “interested” in a fight, and he is in talks with the WBO should their heavyweight boxing belt become vacant.
Anthony Joshua challenges Andy Ruiz Jr for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships on December 7 but his promoter Eddie Hearn has said: “Some belts may become vacant.”
The winner of Joshua’s rematch with Ruiz Jr will have Usyk and Kubrat Pulev as WBO and IBF mandatory challengers, respectively, each expecting the next shot at the champion leading to the option of vacating a belt and pursuing other fights instead.
Zimbabwe-born Chisora could be picked as an opponent for Usyk in a vacant WBO title fight, his manager Haye believes. He said: “Usyk’s people have been in contact with (promoter Hearn) to say they are interested.
“The WBO have a convention in Tokyo where I will lobby them. The WBO want exciting fighters, and it makes sense for them to sanction Usyk vs Chisora.”
Hearn had previously said: “It’s a fight that they could do, potentially even for the WBO title next year.”
Chisora won the WBO intercontinental title when he stopped David Price in his most recent fight, which could see him enter their rankings, so the wheels are already been in motion if the winner of Ruiz Jr vs Joshua opts to vacate the belt.
Tyson Fury is No. 2 in the WBO rankings, behind Usyk, but is targeting a fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder instead, opening up the race to challenge for the gold.
“My gut says the WBO (will be vacated) because Usyk is a tricky customer,” Haye said. “I believe Joshua will go the Pulev route, a bigger guy who will stand and fight, rather than the Usyk route.” Chisora, prior to beating Price, mocked Usyk for “juggling balls” and said: “I want that fight.”
Unbeaten Usyk won his heavyweight debut last month against Chazz Witherspoon and made it clear that he wanted to challenge for a world title in his next fight. He has previously won an Olympic gold medal and the undisputed cruiserweight title.
“Derek has more of a shot of achieving that goal (of becoming heavyweight champion) than I did, if you look back to 2004,” said Haye on the eve on the 10-year anniversary of his win over Nikolai Valuev which won him the heavyweight title. — Sky Sports.