The WBO has named Oleksandr Usyk as the mandatory challenger to the winner of the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.
The heavyweight rematch, which is thought to be taking place later this year, is a shot at redemption for Joshua, who was humbled by the surprise winner Ruiz Jr on June 1, 2019.
Andy Ruiz Jr. is under contract to take a rematch. Whoever wins will have to face the Ukrainian Usyk, who once held all four world titles at cruiser-weight level.
Usyk was the first boxer to hold all four world titles at cruiser-weight when he won the World Boxing Super Series tournament.
The 2012 Olympic champion’s final bout in the lighter division came in November when he knocked out Briton Tony Bellew – a seventh successive world title victory.
He is unbeaten in 16 professional fights, with 12 knock-out wins.
The winner of the proposed rematch between Joshua and Ruiz will hold three of the four major world titles, the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, with Deontay Wilder in possession of the WBC title.
Usyk is now positioned to face Joshua or Ruiz but the title holder could also vacate the WBO belt should they wish to pursue another avenue.