Negotiations for Oleksandr Usyk to defend his WBA Heavyweight title against Daniel Dubois have reportedly begun.
The bout will see Usyk, who was formerly undisputed in the cruiserweight division, face this sanctioning body’s mandatory challenger, with Dubois having the added bonus of the WBO and IBF belts on the table, too.
Talks have been ordered to take place following the collapse of a fight between Usyk and WBC Champion, Tyson Fury. Fans were close to seeing an undisputed champion in the division for the first time in two decades, but it wasn’t to be.
Frank Warren – the promoter of both Fury and Dubois – has responded to a recent enquiry from the WBA into Dubois’ fitness, as confirmed by TalkSPORT’s Michael Benson, and will now open negotiations.
Oleksandr Usyk vs Daniel Dubois negotiations are now underway, I’m told by Frank Warren. They sent back medical confirmation as requested by the WBA to prove Dubois has recovered from his injury and is fit to be next mandatory for Usyk’s WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world titles.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) March 28, 2023
If all goes to plan, Dubois will be fighting for the unified heavyweight titles in his 21st fight at 25 years of age. His one loss came at the thudding and relentless hands of Joe Joyce – a conquest of Usyk’s amateur career – in 2020.
The young man from London has won four from four since, his most recent outing a third round stoppage against Kevin Lerena after a scare in the first. It was the first defence of his WBA Regular belt, which he won against Trevor Bryan six months prior.
It’s then he sustained his injury – reported at the time as a torn ACL – that has now been deemed no concern or obstacle for the three-belt fight with Usyk.
Warren goes straight back into negotiations with the Ukrainian’s team following a frustrating breakdown of talks for the Fury fight. This being a mandatory challenge makes it all the more likely to happen.
If Usyk wants another crack at undisputed before retirement, holding onto this WBA belt against the hard-hitting Dubois is the first obstacle.