Filip Hrgovic’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, feels it’s not fair that Oleksandr Usyk is being allowed to keep his IBF heavyweight title for his rematch with Tyson Fury in October.

Delayed Opportunity for Hrgovic

Hearn believes Usyk (22-0, 14 KOs) should be stripped of his IBF title because his overdue mandatory Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs) was supposed to get a shot next. Instead, Hrgovic will need to wait until some point in 2025 before he can fight for the IBF belt.

Hearn wanted the IBF title to be at stake for Hrgovic’s fight against Daniel Dubois this Saturday, June 1st, in the 5 vs. 5 event on DAZN PPV in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Now, that’s not going to happen. That fight will be for no belts.

Hearn’s Perspective on the Fury-Usyk Rematch

“He probably thinks he can win the rematch, which I think he’s the favorite to do,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to the Chris Mannix YouTube channel, talking about Oleksandr Usyk being the likely favorite for a rematch with Tyson Fury.

“There should be a rematch because it was a great fight. We had Usyk winning the fight. I had it tight, and some had it a little wider, but still a close, competitive fight. So, as much as I’d like AJ to fight Fury or Usyk, I think that rematch should happen, and I’m sure it will come in October in Riyadh.

Impact of Fury’s Potential Win on Joshua-Fury Fight

“If Fury wins the fight for the undisputed, it’s bigger than if Fury loses,” said Hearn about a fight between Fury and Anthony Joshua is obviously much bigger if Fury avenges his loss to Usyk to become the undisputed champion.

“It’s still a massive fight, but they [Joshua and Fury] have both lost to Usyk twice. It’s always going to be a big fight. But at the same time, we can’t worry about other people. We can’t base our career around Tyson Fury winning or losing.

“The only focus AJ has is regaining the world heavyweight championship. Whether that’s the IBF spin-off. Whether that’s Usyk or Fury, we don’t really care. Whoever has got it has got it.

“AJ is not really focused on Fury. He’s just focused on the belts. So, we’d love to fight Fury for it. Hopefully, if there’s a rematch, he can do the business [against Usyk], but obviously, he’s going to be up against it.

Hearn’s Discontent with IBF’s Exception

“My understanding is, there’s already been an exception [with IBF allowing Usyk to keep his belt for the rematch with Fury]. I get both sides of the argument. You really don’t want the belts to be fragmented, but you’ve got a guy [Filip Hrgovic] who has been ordered ages ago and has been waiting and waiting and waiting.

“So, it was my understanding that the Fury-Usyk fight took place on the condition that the winner had to fight Hrgovic with no exceptions. I don’t think that’s going to happen next week [by June 1st] for Hrgovic-Dubois for that to be on the line.

“But maybe the winner of that has AJ next in line for the IBF. We have to wait and see. But you can’t ignore your mandatory challenger for two or three years. I get the whole idea of, ‘Yeah, it’s great to have an undisputed champion.’ But what if the shoe is on the other foot, and you’re this guy [Hrgovic] that’s been mandatory, and now he goes out and beats Dubois? He’s told, ‘You can’t get your title shot until the summer of 2025.

“It’s not fair. I get both sides of the argument, but I do expect the IBF belt to come vacant, but it’s very unlikely for next Saturday,” said Hearn.

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