Usyk and Wilder learn Dubois’ feelings on taking step-aside money | Boxing | Sport


Daniel Dubois is not prepared to take step-aside money for Oleksandr Usyk to defend his title against Deontay Wilder later this year, according to promoter Frank Warren. Dubois is the WBA (regular) champion – defending his belt against Kevin Lerena in December – and is the mandatory challenger for the more prestigious WBA (super) belt held by Usyk.

Months of negotiations for a heavyweight unification clash between Tyson Fury and Usyk, pencilled in for next month, finally ended this week when the Ukrainian withdrew from his fight camp. Before negotiations began, the WBA had ordered Usyk to instead fight Dubois – but the British heavyweight was willing to step aside for Fury.

To stop negotiations rumbling on, the WBA ordered that if Fury and Usyk’s camp didn’t agree a fight deal by April 1, then the Ukrainian would have to meet Dubois. Triple D had surgery on a knee ligament injury and is expect to return to action in May or June.

“He’s the WBA (Regular) champion and the WBA have said in writing that if we hadn’t agreed terms and submitted contracts by April 1, for Tyson (Fury) and (Oleksandr) Usyk then that’s the fight,” said promoter Warren. “They are calling that mandatory defence. Don’t think that Daniel is not ready to box, he’s here today. He is ready to go.”

READ MORE: Oleksandr Usyk’s wife takes fresh swipe at Tyson Fury after fight breakdown

American Wilder said he is ready to step in and fight Usyk ‘in a heartbeat’ after the breakdown of negotiations between Fury and the Ukrainian. A fight against WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO holder Usyk and Wilder would attract a huge American audience and is rumoured to be on the cards this summer in Saudi Arabia.

However, Dubois stands in the way if Usyk wants to keep his WBA world title or he would risk being stripped of the belt. Warren added: “I noticed on an interview Ukrainian’s promoter Alex (Krassyuk, Usyk’s promoter) said that that we’ll fight the WBA mandatory thinking that they can bypass him.

“That isn’t going to happen, that’s who he is fighting.” When asked if there was any chance of Dubois taking step-aside money? Warren shuck his head before adding: “They can mention what they like. Or he vacates the title.”

Warren thinks that 19-1 heavyweight Dubois can provide a tough test for Usyk, with the British fighter’s only defeat coming against Joe Joyce. He added: “They’re good fights. He’s a young up-and-coming guy, he’s a big puncher who can box and he’s show that he’s got a bit of heart. That’s a good fight, a big fight.

“I look at Usyk against Chisora and the problems that Chisora gave him and I’m thinking ‘Daniel can beat him’.



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