Even if Anthony Joshua beats Oleksandr Usyk and agrees to fight Tyson Fury… they might still not be fighting to fully unify the heavyweight division.
Cast your minds back to earlier in 2021, with talks between Joshua and Fury’s camps underway to arrange a unification bout, potentially in Saudi Arabia, which would crown the victor the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Talks fell through, with Joshua accepting a WBO mandatory bout against Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury being ordered into a trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder by a court of arbitration.
With AJ having been beaten and Usyk subsequently being crowned unified heavyweight champion, the two Britons are no longer on a collision course. That could change, were Joshua to win the rematch.
However, as is reported by The Sun, we may still not see an undisputed, British heavyweight champion, even if Joshua regains his belts and pencils in a fight with rival Fury.
The report notes that Joshua could be forced to vacate his WBA belt, were the association to push for him to fight mandatory challenger Robert Helenius and a bout with Fury be pursued instead.
That would see the victor of Joshua vs Fury hold ‘just’ the IBF, WBO, IBO and WBC heavyweight titles, with the WBA slipping through their fingers.
Considering how few fights Fury is thought to have left him in, the UK really could miss their golden opportunity to have the first WBA–WBC–IBF–WBO unified heavyweight champion.