Oleksandr Usyk vacates IBF title to hand Anthony Joshua golden chance against Daniel Dubois

Oleksandr Usyk has vacated the IBF heavyweight title, meaning Daniel Dubois will be upgraded to official champion ahead of a planned fight with Anthony Joshua.

Dubois and Joshua are expected to fight for the belt on 21 September, with an announcement likely to be made on Wednesday (26 June). The bout is expected to be held at London’s Wembley Stadium.

“Anthony and Daniel, listen,” Usyk said in a video on social media. “I know the IBF title is important to you.

“[Consider] it my present to you on 21 September.”

Usyk outpointed Tyson Fury in May to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years, adding the Briton’s WBC title to the IBF, WBA and WBO belts that he already held.

Usyk took the unified titles from Joshua in 2021 and retained them against “AJ” in a rematch one year later.

The Ukrainian is due to box Fury in Saudi Arabia again in December, though undisputed status will no longer be on the line in that contest.

Dubois, 26, won the interim IBF title by stopping Filip Hrgovic in June. Joshua, 34, last fought in March, knocking out ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou.

Briton Dubois also previously fought Usyk, 37, losing to the unbeaten southpaw in August. Usyk climbed off the canvas after a controversial low blow to stop Dubois.

Joshua’s defeats by Usyk both came via decision, with the Briton losing to the Ukrainian in September 2021 and August 2022.