The WBO ordered Joshua to defend his belt against mandatory challenger Usyk after the breakdown of his planned undisputed title fight with Tyson Fury. Joshua and Usyk were given until May 31 to negotiate terms before the fight will be decided via purse bids. But Joshua is also considering other opponents, his promoter Eddie Hearn has said.
Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles but his desired opponent Fury was told to defend his WBC belt against Deontay Wilder by a court of arbitration.
“We are in the middle of negotiations now and things look optimistic,” Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Sky Sports about talks with Joshua’s representative Hearn.
“As long as I am informed there are no visible obstacles to the deal not to take place, hopefully, it will be completed within the rendered timing.”