When Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk meet in the ring next week, there will be another world heavyweight belt on the line. After Tyson Fury announced his retirement, he vacated the record Ring Magazine title and organisers have confirmed this is now on the line when Joshua and Usyk meet in their Saudi Arabia rematch.
Back in September, Joshua was comfortably outclassed as the Ukrainian snatched his WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF world titles in front of 65,000 fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Usyk stunned Joshua on a number of occasions and was simply too fast for the Brit, landing a number of impressive hits to win unanimously on points.
Joshua will look to reclaim his titles when he faces the Ukrainian at the Jeddah Super Dome in Saudi Arabia on August 20. If he emerges victorious, Joshua would become a four-belt unified champion – and it would have set up a mouth-watering undisputed clash with WBC champion Fury.
However, Fury went back on his declaration that he would be open to facing Joshua after he crushed Dillian Whyte in April by announcing his imminent retirement from the sport. On his 34th birthday, Fury posted a statement which read: “Massive thanks to everyone who had an input in my career over the years and after long hard conversations I’ve finally decided to walk away and on my 34th birthday I say bon voyage.”
The news that the upcoming Joshua-Usyk rematch will feature the Ring Magazine title was confirmed by talkSPORT’s Online Boxing Editor Michael Benson. He tweeted: “The Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua rematch next Saturday will have the vacant Ring Magazine heavyweight title on the line after Tyson Fury vacated.”
It means there is an extra incentive for Joshua to reclaim his world heavyweight titles lost to Usyk, while the Ukrainian could add the belt to his ever-growing resume. Ultimately, it probably means little as both fighters will be desperate to come out on top.
Across his illustrious career, Fury has claimed memorable wins over Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder – with the duo enduring an epic trilogy of fights – while the Brit is undefeated with 32 wins and one draw. However, many fans will be disappointed they never got to see Fury face Joshua or Usyk.
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