Finally, the moment that fans have been eagerly anticipating has arrived. The highly anticipated heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has been officially signed. After a year filled with notable matches such as Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia and the long-awaited Terence Crawford-Errol Spence welterweight superfight, the failure to materialize Fury-Usyk fight had become a glaring blemish on an otherwise positive year for boxing. The collective sigh of relief is palpable, knowing that the battle is now set to take place. The stakes are high, as the winner will be crowned the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, a feat not achieved since the dominant reign of Lennox Lewis decades ago.
However, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the result of Fury-Usyk. Reports indicate that a rematch clause has been included in the contract, granting the loser the opportunity to demand a rematch with the winner. While this may seem like a fair provision, it could spell trouble for the undisputed champion. The International Boxing Federation (IBF) has made it clear that it will not recognize the rematch clause. If Fury or Usyk decides to immediately trigger a rematch, they will be forced to relinquish the IBF belt. This means that the undisputed champion will lose one of the four major belts that contributed to their undisputed status. Along with the IBF, the titles at stake include the WBC, WBA, and WBO belts.
This turn of events could potentially bode well for former heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua. Although Joshua has suffered two defeats against Usyk, there might be a silver lining for him should Fury and Usyk engage in a rematch. Currently, Flip Hrgovic holds the top spot as the IBF heavyweight contender. Interestingly enough, just behind Hrgovic in the rankings is none other than Anthony Joshua himself. If Fury or Usyk vacates the IBF belt, Joshua could have a chance to reclaim the title he once held. This unexpected twist injects an element of excitement into the heavyweight division.
Unlike other sanctioning bodies, the IBF has a reputation for adhering strictly to its own rules. According to the Daily Mail, the organization has already ordered that the winner of the first Fury-Usyk fight must defend their title against the formidable unbeaten Croatian, Flip Hrgovic. The IBF leaves no room for exceptions, demanding that the winner tests their mettle against Hrgovic. While commendable in its commitment to fairness, it does raise questions about the longevity of an undisputed champion’s reign.
The world of boxing yearns for a long-standing undisputed heavyweight champion. The constant shuffling of belts and the potential for immediate rematches undermine the stability and credibility of the esteemed title. Flip Hrgovic, who is patiently waiting in the wings, may have a different perspective on the matter. Anthony Joshua, too, may see a glimmer of hope as he eyes a potential opportunity to regain his former IBF crown. The Fury-Usyk rematch clause adds an unpredictable layer to an already captivating division.
The signing of the Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk heavyweight title fight brings an overwhelming sense of relief to fans and promoters. However, the inclusion of a rematch clause in the contract introduces a new level of uncertainty to the future of the undisputed championship. While the IBF remains steadfast in its adherence to its rules, boxing enthusiasts yearn for a champion who can consolidate the belts and provide stability to the heavyweight division. As fans eagerly await the outcome of Fury-Usyk, the landscape of the heavyweight division hangs in the balance, with both Flip Hrgovic and Anthony Joshua poised to capitalize on the opportunities that arise from the impending rematch.