World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman expects a mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury’s world heavyweight title to be confirmed soon.
Fury has not fought since his stoppage victory over Derek Chisora in December last year at New White Heart Lane stadium in London. However, that is for something other than want of trying.
Fury has been finding it challenging to find an opponent in recent months and has seen negotiations fall by the wayside with unified world heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk, collapse in a very public fashion after the respective heavyweight titleholders disagreed on contractual terms. Tyson also saw last week a provisional offer to fight former two-time unified world champion Anthony Joshua, also rejected by Joshua’s promotional and management team. According to the pair’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, Joshua is in talks for a proposed fight with Dillian Whyte.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Sulaiman has admitted that the WBC’s board of governors will have to take action and set a mandatory defence for its heavyweight champion, Fury.
“We have to take some action,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports. “There are different options. I’m going to address this with the board of governors because already we’re entering June and there’s no scenario. Tyson Fury will make us proud and show who the WBC champion is.”
The WBC, in November last year at their annual convention, ordered a final eliminator between former WBC champion Deontay Wilder and former unified champion Andy Ruiz. However, the WBC didn’t order the contest immediately in the hope of Fury securing an undisputed heavyweight title encounter with Usyk. Sulaiman has admitted that was why the eliminator contest had not been ordered but will now have to take appropriate action.
"[The order for Wilder-Ruiz] was announced since November. We’ve been patiently trying to do that. We didn’t push it in the hope that Fury would fight Usyk. So that was all the way to March [when the Fury-Usyk negotiations collapsed]. So we have to take some decisions.”
The WBC president has also confirmed that he will not rule out installing Anthony Joshua as Fury’s net mandatory challenger ahead of Ruiz and Wilder. Sulaiman refused to speculate if such could happen immediately but would not rule out such an event happening.
That’s a possibility. If Wilder and Ruiz are not fighting for the final elimination, Joshua’s right there at No 3. That’s possible,” Sulaiman said.
“I don’t want to speculate because that would be irresponsible to try to make something up. We have to go through a process. The WBC board of governors will make that decision.
“At this stage anything is possible. There’s too much talent, too many great fights, too many great combinations that could be made for heavyweight and everything is stalled.”