Joe Joyce is ready to enforce a mandatory challenge to face Oleksandr Usyk if the champion cannot agree a fight with Tyson Fury.
'The Juggernaut' recently picked up another win on his undefeated professional streak over Joseph Parker to reinforce his status as mandatory challenger to Usyk's world title. The Ukrainian successfully defended his belt against Anthony Joshua back in August and called for a shot at becoming undisputed champion in a fight with Fury who holds the WBC crown.
Joyce will soon be able to cash in on his status as the mandatory challenger but will likely face a wait, with Fury set to defend his belt on December 3 against Derek Chisora at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before pursuing a shot at Usyk. However Joyce's promoter Frank Warren has insisted that his fighter will be in big fights irrespective of any wait for a world title quest.
"None of these fights are a problem," Warren told Mirror Fighting when assessing if Joyce could face an alternative option if the Usyk fight is unavailable. "He will be in big fights he is in the interim champion and he is also Usyk's mandatory. I don't expect him to vacate and I expect him to fight Tyson providing he comes through this December.
"I think Tyson will come through with all four belts, and then the winner will have to decide what they want to do with them. If Usyk doesn't fight Tyson next then he is going to have to fight in his mandatories it is as simple as that. And Joe will be up there looking to get his shot."
It is expected Usyk will indeed step in the ring with the 'Gypsy King' next year providing the Briton comes through his keep-busy clash against Chisora later this year. Usyk has reiterated his desire to meet Fury despite claims he could hand a chance to Deontay Wilder before pursuing a meeting for all the marbles.
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Talks were held after the Ukrainian's rematch with Joshua but the framework is now in place to resume negotiations later this year to organise a date in spring 2023. Usyk himself was pictured at the WBO convention with Joyce which sparked speculation he could indeed fulfil his mandatory challenge.
And having met in the amateurs which ended in defeat for the British star, Joyce believes he has what it takes to overturn the loss and have his hand raised in a professional showdown. "I think if it had gone a few more rounds I think I could have done something in the fight," Joyce said. "And I feel with Ismael Salas coming up with the game plan and setting the techniques for me to work on, I think he can come up with something for me to beat Usyk now."