Following the evident collapse of his boxing match with fellow Briton Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua has been ordered to justify his WBO heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.
Anthony Joshua had decided to join WBC champion Fury in Saudi Arabia, where he also retains the IBF and WBA belts.
However, an arbitrator ruled that Fury must first confront Deontay Wilder.
Anthony Joshua’s promoter had already been given 48 hours to reveal why he should not be compelled to have a fight with Usyk.
Eddie Hearn demanded that the “show cause” notice be extended until Monday so that he could “discuss the subject matter and other related affairs” with Joshua, but Usyk’s team declined.
“The extension request is hereby denied,” the WBO said in a statement published, agreeing with the Ukrainian former undisputed world cruiserweight champion, who had initially agreed to step aside and give the Joshua-Fury super fight to hold.
As a result, the status quo is that the two fighters and their teams have until May 31 to comply with a fight, after which purse bids will be called.