Undisputed heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has requested the IBF grant him an exception to keep his rematch with Tyson Fury as another battle for undisputed supremacy.

IBF president Daryl Peoples confirmed to BoxingScene on Friday that Usyk has made the request less than a week after his stirring split-decision triumph over Fury in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic has waited for his mandatory title shot since 2022, and it was believed his June 1 date with Daniel Dubois would become an IBF title fight – a member of his team told BoxingScene this week that “It’s time”. 

However, with the historic feat of becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999, and with his bout being backed by Saudi Arabia’s Turki Alalshikh, perhaps there are financial and emotional means to keep Hrgovic satisfied and to keep all four belts in play.

Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, confirmed that they had filed to the IBF to keep hold of their championship and therefore for Usyk to maintain his undisputed crown.

“We’re waiting for a decision to be made,” said Klimas. “I think it’s more important for Tyson Fury now, not for Oleksandr. 

“Oleksandr, of course, is a two-time unified [champion at cruiserweight and heavyweight] and if the next fight is just for the three belts, I don’t think it’s going to be fair for either of the two guys. Either Tyson Fury or for Oleksandr. 

“But as far as importance, I think it’s more important for Team Fury to get this title. Imagine if Fury wins – he’s not going to be undisputed, so he is losing the chance. 

“The rematch, the clause, was so both guys had the chance to be undisputed. I hope the IBF are going to make the right decision.”

Hrgovic and Dubois are scheduled to fight imminently, but Klimas hopes Usyk can hold on to all four belts after it took a quarter of a century for that vacancy to be filled after Lewis’ victory over Evander Holyfield.

“We don’t know who is going to be a winner,” Klimas said. “Hrgovic, who has been mandatory for a long time, or Dubois [who Usyk has already beaten]. I think right now it would be the right decision for the IBF to say, ‘We’re supporting the undisputed’, which is also I believe in the rulings but we don’t know how it’s going to turn out.

Asked how Usyk was doing in the aftermath of the bruising fight with Fury in Riyadh,  Klimas responded: “He is doing okay. He is with his family, enjoying his time, enjoying his victory, enjoying family around him. He’s in great spirits and in a great mood.”

Ukrainian fighters have recently been doing their country proud. Usyk’s victory complemented those recently recorded by Serhii Bohachuk, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Denys Berinchyk.

“It shows that one day Ukraine boxing schools put the good roots into these fighters who are nowadays on top of the world in professional boxing,” Klimas added.