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Oleksandr Usyk insists he will make ‘the final decision’ over a fight with Joe Joyce

Oleksandr Usyk: “Joe Joyce shouldn’t think too much of himself and fall in line with everyone else. I’ll be the one making the final decision.”

James Dielhenn

Oleksandr Usyk has insisted he will make “the final decision” over a fight with Joe Joyce that has major world title ramifications.

Usyk and Joyce are in talks to fight for the WBO interim heavyweight title, enabling Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to meet in an undisputed title collision.

“Joyce’s team made us an offer,” Usyk posted on social media.

“The offer was unsuitable, so we made a more viable counter-offer.

“Joyce shouldn’t think too much of himself and fall in line with everyone else. I’ll be the one making the final decision.”

Ukraine’s undefeated phenom Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, is now the WBO mandatory challenger to the heavyweight belt held by Joshua.

But the WBO ruled he should fight Joyce (the No 2 ranked contender) for an interim title allowing Joshua vs Fury, the most anticipated match-up in the sport, to take place.

Joshua and Fury have signed a contract to fight twice for every major heavyweight accolade, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed, although a date and location is still to be confirmed.

Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk previously told Sky Sports why they deserve a 93 per cent share of the purse in a fight with Joyce: “[WBO president] Paco Valcarcel is a very fair and reasonable man! But the purse split is a matter of mathematics not of anything else.

“The calculation is very simple. Three last declared purses of Usyk plus three last declared purses of Joyce equals the total pot. Usyk’s purse divided to the total pot multiplied by 100 per cent equals his percentage.”

Joyce’s manager Sam Jones previously said: “As for his talk about a 93/7 split, that is clearly ridiculous. We have the utmost respect for the WBO, one of the fairest sanctioning bodies in boxing, and we are sure they will come to a fair and appropriate purse split if the matter does go to purse bids.”

Krassyuk replied: “Mathematics cannot be ridiculous.”

Lawrence Okolie’s chance to become a world cruiserweight champion against Krzysztof Glowacki is on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

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