Oleksandr Usyk, the undisputed heavyweight champion, has chosen to bestow a generous gift of the IBF title to assist his former conquered opponents, Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois, to fight on September 21st at Wembley Stadium.

Usyk’s Faux Generosity

Usyk is gifting his IBF belt to Joshua and Dubois to scrape over, which plays well on social media, but it’s more faux generosity.

It’s a title that Usyk (22-0, 14 KOs) was planning to vacate anyway because he’s interested in giving up all his belts and moving back down to cruiserweight to become a two-time undisputed champion in that weight class.

“Anthony and Daniel, I know the IBF title is important to you. It’s my present to you on September 21,” said Usyk on X.

Table Scraps for the Taking

The way Usyk is giving up his IBF, it’s like he’s throwing table scraps to be scrambled over. If you’re Joshua, how does your pride let you fight for a title that is being tossed like it’s a bone from your former conqueror?

That’s got to be at least a little off-putting if Joshua has any pride left after losing twice to Usyk and going mental inside the ring after the second defeat. Joshua wants to reclaim his old IBF belt as if winning it will validate him somehow in his mind.

It doesn’t change anything. The only way the IBF means anything is if Joshua beats Usyk for it, and that’s not happening now.

The IBF Title: A Necessary Evil

The IBF title was needed for Joshua (28-3, 25 KOs) to take the fight with Dubois (21-2, 20 KOs) because if not, AJ might have gone in the direction of Zhilei Zhang or Joseph Parker.

Joshua will now fight Dubois on September 21st at Wembley Stadium in London. If Usyk chooses to vacate the belts if he’s victorious against Tyson Fury in their rematch on December 21st, the winner of the fight may need to pursue the remaining three titles if they’re fragmented.

If Fury wins, he’ll fight the winner of the Joshua-Dubois fight for the undisputed championship. It’s not looking good for Fury because Usyk has got his number, and will surely go after him with combinations, knowing that he had him knocked out in the ninth round the last time they fought on May 18th.

Usyk’s Mind Games with Fury

It could also be interpreted as messing with Tyson Fury’s mind because he won’t have a chance to fight for the undisputed championship now when he faces Usyk on December 21st in their rematch in Riyadh.

Fury wanted to have a chance to compete for the four belts to cement his legacy, but he can’t do it now, at least for the time being.

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