One of the most intriguing boxing match-ups possible at the moment seems to be off the books. Sky Sports reports that a potential undisputed heavyweight clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksander Usyk has failed to materialized after a bout of lengthy, and often fractious, negotiating.
The fight had seemed to be on the cards after Fury’s lopsided win over Derek Chisora in December. After cruising past Chisora, Fury faced-off with Usyk on the ring apron. During that encounter Fury accused Usyk of, among many other things, being afraid to fight him.
Since then the pair have engaged in a public back and forth on social media, sharing demands for the bout agreement. At one point Usyk seemed to agree to a 70/30 revenue split in favour of Fury. However, Usyk said he would only accept those terms if Fury agreed to make a million dollar donation to relief efforts in his embattled home nation of Ukraine.
Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas suggested to Sky Sports that talks had fallen apart with team Fury because ‘The Gypsy King’ didn’t want to fight his client in the first place.
“I don’t want to go into details as all negotiations were confidential but I will tell you one thing, when a fighter doesn’t want to fight he overprices himself knowing that the fight won’t happen,” said Klimas.
“They most likely forgot that Usyk is holding the majority of belts in the heavyweight division and Tyson just has one,” he added. “They claimed Tyson is a face and must have all the rights, but look at statistics on pay-per-view with Tyson vs Chisora and Usyk vs Chisora and then tell me who is who?”
With the Fury fight seemingly out of reach, Usyk will likely face British boxer Daniel Dubois next. Dubois is the mandatory challenger for Usyk’s WBA (Super) title. The WBA demand that Usyk enter negotiations with Dubois if he is unable to produce a signed contract for the Fury fight by April 1.
Usyk won the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision win over Anthony Joshua in 2021. Last year he defended those titles against Joshua, defeating the Brit split decision.
Fury currently holds the WBC heavyweight title, which he won—along with The Ring title—from Deontay Wilder in 2020. He has defended the WBC title against Wilder, Dillian Whyte and Chisora.
Previous Fury held the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO titles. He won those belts with a win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. Fury later relinquished those titles after testing positive for cocaine and performance enhancing drugs.
About the author