Ukrainian heavyweight Alexander Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) will be defending his title for the second time in a row. The International Boxing Federation (IBF) will require the Ukrainian fighter to face his mandatory challenger. This is the Olympic medalist from Croatia, Filip Hrgovic (16-0, 13 KOs).

“Hrgovic is the mandatory but if we’re going to get the unification [against Fury] we’re going to go for the unification,” stated Egis Klimas, Usyk’s manager. “If the unification is not done, of course, Hrgovic will be next.”

It is expected that Usyk will return to the ring early next year.

As a reminder, this past weekend, Usyk fought Daniel Dubois (19-1, 18 KOs) in Wrocław, Poland, and knocked out the British boxer in the ninth round. Dubois’ camp was dissatisfied with the match’s outcome and decided to file an appeal and demand a rematch. This was due to Usyk’s simulation in the fifth round when he fell to the canvas and pretended to have been hit below the belt. Many, including Dubois’ team, believe it was a clean body shot, not a low blow to the Ukrainian’s groin area.

Hrgovic is known to Kazakhstani fans for his performances with the “Astana Arlans” club, with which he won the World Series of Boxing (WSB) twice.

Last updated on 28 Aug 2023 - 17:09

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