Promoter Kalle Sauerland has thrown his heavyweight prodigy into the hat for a shot at unified heavyweight glory. Sauerland promotes the undefeated Croatian heavyweight Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs) and became the mandatory challenger for Oleksandr Usyk courtesy of the IBF. Hrgovic secured the position with a very narrow points victory against Zhilei Zhang in August of last year, despite being hurt by Zhang on multiple occasions, would claim victory and solidify his number one position within the IBF organisation at heavyweight.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Sauerland has talked up regarding Hrgovic’s position and willingness to fight Usyk following the collapse of negotiations between the unified world heavyweight champion and WBC world title holder, Tyson Fury.
“Usyk, Hrgovic is waiting for you (Usyk), the rest of the belts, he wants them all,” Sauerland told Sky Sports.
“He’s not the type to beat around the bush, Filip. He’s been waiting a long time for this shot.
“He’s next in line to fight Usyk (for the IBF title).
“Who doesn’t think that Hrgovic would give any heavyweight a proper run for his money?
The WBA is set to call their mandatory first in rotation with the other governing bodies due to Usyk holding the WBA, IBF & WBO heavyweight titles simultaneously. The current WBA mandatory challenger is Daniel Dubois, who holds the “world” title compared to Usyk, holding the “super” world heavyweight title within the WBA system.
Kalle continues to add why Usyk-Hrgovic would be an exciting fight.
“I’m going back to the fact that he stopped David Haye from taking part in the David Haye-Tyson Fury fight. He was the one who gave the left hook in sparring that took him out of that fight, unfortunately.
“There’s the leaked sparring with Deontay Wilder,” he continued. “It’s a right back and forth. It’s pay-per-view boxing in sparring.
“For people who know their boxing Hrgovic is obviously a massive, massive fight at heavyweight.”
Dubois was injured in his last fight, an exciting stoppage victory over Kevin Lerena in December. Dubois confirmed yesterday that he is ready to fight and looking to shock Usyk. Kalle was not
willing to comment if Dubois would be prepared to face Usyk but stated he would continue to lobby for Hrgovic to receive the opportunity of fighting for the world titles regardless.
“I can’t speculate too much on that, but we know that Filip Hrgovic is the IBF (mandatory), that’s then down to the governing bodies, and we lobby for our guy. It’s a fight that I think a lot of people want to see.”