What now? Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk have other viable options
Heavyweight titleholders Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk appear to be finished with one another after talks for a showdown this spring broke down, at least for the time being.
So now what?
Of course, neither man has a more compelling option. They would’ve been fighting to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis, after all. News that the fight is off was nothing short of heartbreaking.
Life goes on, though. And there are other reasonably interesting options for both of them. Below are three viable foes for each man.
Note: We do NOT want to see Fury vs. Deontay Wilder IV or Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua III. Fury and Usyk separated themselves from these rivals. There’s no need to see go back to the same well. Please, no.
Anthony Joshua – This is still a big fight, particularly in the U.K. Fury is the best, most entertaining big man in the world. And Joshua, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, remains a compelling figure in spite of back-to-back losses to Usyk. Fury and Joshua could fill up Wembley Stadium.
Joe Joyce – Joyce doesn’t have the star power of Joshua but the bruising banger has become an imposing figure in the division. That couldn’t have been more obvious in September, when he became the first to stop capable Joseph Parker.
Andy Ruiz Jr. – Ruiz is a viable opponent for anyone because of his back story. He turned in one of the most stunning upsets in recent history, becoming the first to take down Joshua on an unforgettable Arabian night in 2019. And he’s a good all-around fighter.
Deontay Wilder – Who wouldn’t want to see Usyk vs. Wilder? It would be a classic boxer vs. knockout artist matchup. Could Wilder land one of his vaunted rights? If so, what would happen? Fascinating stuff.
Joe Joyce – Joyce might be the most difficult opponent for Usyk other than Fury. He isn’t the boxer or athlete Joshua is and he can’t punch as hard as Wilder but he might be the strongest heavyweight in the world, maybe too strong for Usyk.
Daniel Dubois – Usyk reportedly is pursuing a fight with his WBA mandatory. This isn’t a bad matchup. Dubois is somewhat robotic but he also is big and strong and he’s well known enough to generate interest, at least among fans in the U.K.
Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk fight 'off' over rematch terms