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The IBF had previously insisted that a rematch with Tyson Fury would not absolve Oleksandr Usyk of his mandatory order

A day before the expected announcement of Matchroom’s and Queensberry’s September 21st megashow at Wembley, undisputed heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk announced via Twitter that he’s vacating his IBF title to allow Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois to fight for it.

This is not an unexpected outcome, as the IBF made clear before Usyk’s (22-0, 14 KO) win over Tyson Fury that an overdue mandatory defense would supersede their planned rematch on December 21st. The Ukrainian star is a combined 3-0 over Joshua (28-3, 25 KO) and Dubois (21-2, 20 KO), scoring a pair of competitive decisions over the former and stopping the latter after suffering a controversial low blow.

Honestly, I’ve got no issue with this. Dropping one of four belts isn’t going to take any shine off the Fury rematch and it’ll be nice to see Joshua vs Dubois, the biggest British domestic heavyweight showdown in ages, have a real title on the line.

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