Joe Joyce believes will vacate the WBO title rather than defend it against him. Joyce picked up the WBO interim belt in a career-best win against Joseph Parker last month and is now the established mandatory challenger for the main strap.

Usyk will be ordered to defend his WBO crown against Joyce in March as per the sanctioning body’s rules, so the race is on to book the undisputed fight with before then. Fury’s promoter Frank Warren recently told Express Sport that they are aiming to make Usyk vs Fury in February to ensure all-four belts are on the line.

Fury has previously stated that he is only considering the fight with Usyk due to its undisputed status while Usyk has said that he has no interest in fighting anyone apart from The Gypsy King next. If an agreement cannot be reached before the mandatory is called, Joyce believes Usyk will vacate the WBO title, throwing the Fury fight into jeopardy.

“Ideally, I would like to fight Usyk,” Joyce told The Metro. “But it seems he is now looking elsewhere, considering moving back to cruiserweight or wanting to fight Fury but it doesn’t look like that is on the table at the moment. Usyk could vacate and then I would be elevated.

“But I don’t know what happens in boxing anymore. Fury changes his mind all the time, Usyk has a lot of options. But we will get there eventually. All I can do is keep calling people out and be patient.”

For now, Fury squares off against on December 3 after a breakdown in negotiations with . Usyk meanwhile is at home in Ukraine spending time with his family as the Russian invasion rages on.