By: Sean Crose
“This is a perfect time to do a unification.”
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman uttered those exact words to Sky Sports on Monday. By doing so, Sulaiman indicated he would like to see a heavyweight title throwdown between WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in the near future. The winner of that fight would become the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis reigned supreme two decades ago.
“We ordered a final elimination between Wilder and Andy Ruiz,” Sulaiman continued. “At this time we have no mandatory contenders, so this is a perfect moment for the unification.” Usyk was last seen besting Anthony Joshua, the man he previously won his heavyweight titles from, in a rematch last summer. As for Fury, he was last spotted Saturday in London, where he dominated and stopped longtime contender Derek Chisora. Fury and Usyk stood face to face after the fight. Fury hurled a stream of insults at Usyk, while Usyk appeared to be largely unfazed.
Sulaiman then spoke of the fact that the IBF may throw a spoke in the figurative wheel by demanding that Usyk face their mandatory, Filip Hrgovic, in order to hold onto his IBF belt. “Hopefully it will not get to that point,” said Sulaiman, “and the four organizations will accept to sanction the ultimate undisputed fight and keep it that way.” Although he claimed he understood that different sanctioning bodies have different rules, Sulaiman made it clear the possibility of crowning an undisputed heavyweight champion should override other considerations.
“The importance of this fight (a Fury-Usyk match) is far beyond any organization,” he said, “so we’re supporting it and we’ll do everything possible to make sure it takes place.” Fury was ready to fight Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight championship when Joshua still held on to his belts. An American judge, however, ruled that Fury would have to fight arch rival Deontay Wilder third time first. In the meantime, Joshua lost his titles to Usyk.