Eddie Hearn has ruled out any possibility of Anthony Joshua stepping aside to allow Tyson Fury to fight Oleksandr Usyk.
Former world heavyweight champion Joshua is set to face Usyk in a rematch next year, having lost his titles to the Ukrainian back in September.
There had been talk that the 2012 Olympic champion could step back from the fight – Hearn previously claimed Joshua would do so for £40million – in order to allow Fury a chance at a unification bout with Usyk, having retained his WBC crown against Deontay Wilder earlier this year.
Fury though has been ordered to face mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte, with the bout set to take place in either February or March next year.
The appetite for a Fury vs Usyk bout would be much greater than the two separate fights, with fans having been clamouring for Fury to face Joshua before the latter lost his titles.
Hearn though insists the chances of Joshua making way for a unification bout were always slim, and are now near-impossible following the order from the WBC.
“There’s been lots of talk about Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte,” Hearn wrote in his latest column for the BBC.
“Rumours of a step aside offer for Joshua are exaggerated. His focus has always been on rematching Usyk. If there was a conversation to be had we’d have it, but the announcement from the WBC makes that virtually impossible.
“Dillian is now Fury’s mandatory, it’s been a long time coming. We await official confirmation of the split for that fight, but it’s almost nailed on we will see Fury v Whyte in the spring of 2022.
“It’s a great fight between two British heavyweights for the WBC and Ring magazine title. I believe
Dillian has a great chance of pulling off a shock.
“For AJ, the work continues behind the scenes. I know he’s completely focused on the task ahead.”