Oleksandr Usyk urged to snub Anthony Joshua rematch and fight Tyson Fury instead

Tyson Fury ‘absolutely wounded’ by Anthony Joshua’s loss to Oleksandr Usyk

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Ricky Hatton believes rematch clauses in boxing ‘ruin the game’ after it was confirmed that Anthony Joshua has activated one so he can face Oleksandr Usyk again for a chance to regain his world titles. The Ukrainian challenger got the better of the home favourite at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last weekend, taking the belts after out-boxing Joshua to win on points.

It didn’t take long after the fight for reports to emerge that Joshua had the option for a rematch as part of the deal struck between the pair ahead of the fight.

The Briton will hope to repeat the success he enjoyed second time around against Andy Ruiz Jr – after a surprise loss to the American-Mexican in their first meeting, Joshua produced a disciplined performance six months later to make sure he took back his titles.

One person who isn’t happy to see another rematch is Hatton, a former unified light-welterweight world champion, who says such clauses lead to fights the public want to see becoming delayed.

“I think it is too early to judge whether Joshua should take the rematch immediately,” he wrote in his Metro column.

“Go away, have a little rest, speak to his team and go from there. Only AJ knows himself, he might turn around in a few months’ time and say: ‘Listen, I might feel a little better if I have a little warm up fight first, a little confidence booster.’

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“I know why rematch clauses are in place because there is so much money at stake. But they are ruining the game. It is putting fights we want to see further and further away.

“Before you know it, the fights we want won’t happen because these rematch clauses back everything up.

“For us as boxing fans, we don’t know what clauses are in the contract and what has and hasn’t been agreed. We have just got to sit back and see what happens.”

It is not known if the rematch clause means Usyk and Joshua must fight again before they can face any other opponents, or if there is any leeway in that regard.

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If there is, Hatton has suggested an alternative plan the fighters could take which he says would make viewers happier.

“Maybe Tyson Fury can go straight into the Usyk fight if he gets past Deontay Wilder next week?” he asked.

“AJ can have a warm up fight to get his confidence back on the understanding that if Tyson beats Usyk or Usyk beats Tyson, AJ gets the first crack at the winner.

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“That as a boxing fan, is the sensible thing and the obvious thing to do.

“Will it happen? Maybe, maybe not. This is boxing, we never know what has been agreed.

“It was the case that AJ and Fury were the top men. Now it is Fury and Usyk.

“Let them fight and AJ can try redeem himself against the winner.”

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