Anthony Joshua has been ordered by the WBO to defend his heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk following the collapse of his mega-fight with Tyson Fury.
The British Nigerian boxer was all set to face Fury in Saudi Arabia in August but an arbitration hearing ordered a trilogy between Wilder and Tyson Fury.
A judge ruled that Fury must go through with his contracted trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder, with the clash now set for July 24.
Now Joshua must also face another bout before a potential clash with Fury.
Joshua’s boxing promoter, Eddie Hearn requested an extension until May 24 to ‘show cause’ notice in order to ‘discuss the subject matter and other related affairs’ with Joshua, but Usyk’s team objected.
The WBO sided with the Ukrainian and the two heavyweights now have until May 31 to agree on a deal before purse bids will be called.
Usyk beat Derek Chisora in October and is undefeated in all of his 18 fights.