The WBA has ordered Oleksandr Usyk to defend his heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois.
The Ukrainian’s focus at the moment is on negotiating an undisputed fight with Tyson Fury, who holds the WBC title that Usyk needs to complete his set of belts.
It is hoped that fight will agreed for March next year, potentially in the Middle East, with it appearing essential that it takes place next before the belts become fragmented.
Dubois, like Fury, is promoted by Frank Warren, and so is not likely to immediately push for his shot at a world title, allowing the undisputed bout to take place.
Last month the IBF ordered Usyk to fight mandatory Filip Hrgovic, thought Warren insists a WBA defence would come first. The last mandatory defence for the WBA ‘super’ title came four years ago when Anthony Joshua beat Alexander Povetkin.
Daniel Dubois defies disastrous start and injury to stop Kevin Lerena in first WBA heavyweight title defence
“In the rotation agreed by all the governing bodies, [Dubois] is next,” Warren told Unibet.
“But obviously, a unification which we’re all working on will take priority.”
Dubois had to come through a real scare earlier this month at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, fighting on the undercard of Fury vs Derek Chisora.
He went down three times in the opening round against Kevin Lerena, twice taking a knee, before recovering to stop his opponent in the third round and keep hold of his WBA ‘regular’ world title.
“He’ll keep fighting and defending his title,” Warren said.
“Him and Joe Joyce, they’re in real good position the both of them. They’re going to be in big fights next year.”
Joyce, also promoted by Warren, is next in like for a shot at Usyk’s WBO belt after his victory over Joe Parker in September.
Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz were last month ordered to fight in a final eliminator for Fury’s WBC title, raising the possibility of a fourth fight between him and Wilder.
However, the ‘Gypsy King’ defended the belt against Dillian Whyte earlier this year and so would not be under any immediate pressure to face another mandatory challenger.