Usyk Seeks IBF Exception to Retain Undisputed Rematch with Fury

Exception Request by Usyk to IBF: A Pivotal Moment in Boxing

Undisputed heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has recently sought an exception request from the IBF to retain his rematch with Tyson Fury as a battle for undisputed supremacy. This pivotal moment in boxing history comes on the heels of Usyk’s thrilling split-decision victory over Fury in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Usyk’s Plea to the IBF

The request, confirmed by IBF president Daryl Peoples, was made less than a week after Usyk’s recent triumph. Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, revealed they have filed to keep the championship intact and maintain Usyk’s undisputed crown. Klimas remarked, “We’re waiting for a decision to be made. I think it’s more important for Tyson Fury now, not for Oleksandr.”

The Hrgovic Factor

Filip Hrgovic, the IBF mandatory challenger, has been waiting for his title shot since 2022. Initially, it was expected that his upcoming bout with Daniel Dubois on June 1 would become an IBF title fight. A member of Hrgovic’s team expressed their anticipation, stating, “It’s time.” However, the historical significance of Usyk potentially becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 has added a new layer of complexity. With financial and emotional backing from Saudi Arabia’s Turki Alalshikh, there may be ways to keep Hrgovic content while preserving all four belts in play.

Picture:IMAGO

The Stakes for Fury

Klimas emphasised the importance of the undisputed title for Fury, saying, “Oleksandr, of course, is a two-time unified [champion at cruiserweight and heavyweight], and if the next fight is just for the three belts, I don’t think it’s going to be fair for either of the two guys. Either Tyson Fury or for Oleksandr.” He added, “Imagine if Fury wins – he’s not going to be undisputed, so he is losing the chance.”

The rematch clause was designed to ensure both fighters had the opportunity to achieve undisputed status. Klimas expressed hope that the IBF would make the right decision, allowing Usyk to retain his titles and Fury to have a shot at becoming undisputed.

Future Implications

Hrgovic and Dubois are set to fight soon, but Klimas is hopeful that Usyk can keep all four belts, a scenario that hasn’t occurred since Lewis’s victory over Evander Holyfield. “We don’t know who is going to be a winner,” Klimas said. “Hrgovic, who has been mandatory for a long time, or Dubois [who Usyk has already beaten]. I think right now it would be the right decision for the IBF to say, ‘We’re supporting the undisputed.’”

Following his gruelling match with Fury, Usyk is reportedly in good spirits. Klimas shared, “He is doing okay. He is with his family, enjoying his time, enjoying his victory, enjoying family around him. He’s in great spirits and in a great mood.”

Ukrainian Fighters on the Rise

Usyk’s victory is part of a broader trend of Ukrainian fighters excelling on the global stage. Recent victories by Serhii Bohachuk, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and Denys Berinchyk have highlighted the strength of Ukrainian boxing. Klimas reflected, “It shows that one day Ukraine boxing schools put the good roots into these fighters who are nowadays on top of the world in professional boxing.”

As the boxing world awaits the IBF’s decision, the potential for another historic moment looms large, with Usyk’s exception request standing as a significant crossroads in the sport.

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