Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury face having to fork out millions to to allow their fight to have all the belts on the line.
According to The Sun, Joshua and Fury are in the process of agreeing a Battle of Britain, but Oleksandr Usyk’s WBO mandatory shot gives the pair a heavyweight headache.
Promoter Eddie Hearn explained the governing bodies are entitled to their three per cent sanctioning fee, which totals £3m while Usyk could demand ‘a couple of million’ to step aside.
Hearn plans to speak with WBO president Francisco ‘Paco’ Varcarcel to find out whether he will give the green light for AJ to swerve his mandatory defence or not.
But if Usyk, 33, is backed to either fight for the belt or receive a pay out, it will be down to Joshua, 31, and Fury, 32, to decide if they want all the marbles at stake.
Hearn told Sky Sports: “Imagine my conversation with Fury and Joshua: ‘To keep all the belts on the line you’ve got to pay three per cent to the governing bodies [which equals] £1.5m you both individually have to pay plus Usyk wants a couple of million’.
“They would say: ‘What?’ This fight is bigger than the belts.
“This is undisputed. AJ wants to be the undisputed champion but isn’t this fight even bigger than that?
“Isn’t this fight the answer to all of our questions?
“Who is the best? Who is the baddest man on the planet? Who is the best heavyweight?
“At some point we have to take charge of the sport and say: ‘No more’. But first I will do everything that I can to keep the belts on the line.
“For me, that is the glory – seeing AJ covered in every bit of silverware. That has always been his aim.
“Once they’ve fought for the undisputed championship, if the belts become fragmented then so be it.
“But I’d just love that moment [to crown an undisputed champion].”
Never in heavyweight history has a champion held all four WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles.
But Hearn has maintained the bragging rights between Joshua and Fury far outweighs the famous straps they defend.
In an attempt to keep Usyk sweet as well as active, he could be offered an ‘interim’ title fight with fellow contender Joe Joyce, 35, as well as a step aside fee.
The winner would in turn inherit the full crown if it was ever vacated or be next in line for the champion.
Hearn said: “We could say to Usyk: ‘Set a fight with Joe Joyce, maybe for the interim belt’.
“Usyk is a classy guy. He is a boxing guy through and through.
“Even in his position he will see that AJ vs Fury is so good for boxing. Does he want to stop the undisputed championship fight?
“The fans won’t like it, if he does. But we can’t just disrespect him and say: ‘Wait’.
“We have to come up with something. The answer that I see is for him to fight Joe Joyce.”