Eddie Hearn confirms timeline for Oleksandr Usyk to be stripped of world title before Tyson Fury rematch

Eddie Hearn has claimed Oleksandr Usyk will be stripped of his IBF world title before his rematch with Tyson Fury in December.

Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, confirmed the rematch for 21 December.

But it remains to be seen if the second fight will be for the undisputed heavyweight title, with the IBF confirming Filip Hrgovic as the mandatory challenger.

The Croatian fights Daniel Dubois in a heavyweight bout this weekend, but that fight will not be for the vacant title. Hearn has now detailed the timeline for a decision, with delays expected due to appeals before a likely fight between Anthony Joshua and the winner for the vacant title in September.

“There’s got to be a process, it will take longer than a week,” Eddie Hearn told Boxing Social.

“It’s very unlikely for that to be in place on Saturday, but it is likely that the winner of that fight [Hrgovic vs Dubois] then fights Anthony Joshua for the world heavyweight title in September, so massive permutations for that fight.”

Usyk outpointed Fury in Saudi Arabia to become the division’s first undisputed king in 24 years.

A statement from Turki Alalshikh read: “The rematch between the undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk and the champion Tyson Fury is now scheduled on the 21 December 2024 during Riyadh Season.

“The world will watch another historical fight again... Our commitment to boxing fans continues. We hope you enjoy it.”

But just like Lennox Lewis before him, Usyk’s time with all the major belts could be short-lived, as it remains unclear if he can retain all four belts without facing his mandatory challenger.

With his victory over the Briton, Usyk retained the unified titles and took the WBC belt from Fury. The win made the Olympic gold medalist the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era.

In November 1999, Lewis beat Evander Holyfield in a rematch to become undisputed heavyweight champion, holding the WBC, WBA and IBF titles.

Within six months, Lewis was stripped of the WBA belt, meaning he lost his undisputed status in 2000.