Tyson Fury’s Heavyweight Title Bout With Oleksandr Usyk Postponed

Tyson Fury’s unification bout with Oleksandr Usyk has been postponed after the British heavyweight received a “freak cut” above his eye during a sparring session in Riyadh, Queensberry Promotions confirmed on Friday.

Fury’s World Boxing Council championship, as well as Ukrainian fighter Usyk’s World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, and World Boxing Organization belts, were scheduled to be contested in Saudi Arabia on February 17.

Instead, the search for heavyweight boxing’s first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000 has been postponed only 15 days before the highly anticipated fight.

“I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition,” said the undefeated Fury in a statement.

“I feel bad for everyone involved in this huge event, and I will work hard toward the rescheduled date once the eye heals,” added Fury, who has a career record of 34 victories and one draw.

“I can only apologise to everyone affected.”

Queensberry stated that the cut above Fury’s right eye “required urgent medical attention and significant stitching,” and the promoters shared an image of the damage done to his face on their X account (previously Twitter).

Fury, 35, wrote on Instagram, “Can’t help getting injured in sparring, but what I can say is Usyk was in trouble.” I am in great form.

I’ll reschedule as soon as I can. 2024 will be a momentous year for team GK (Gypsy King, Fury’s nickname).”

‘Historic event’

Fury faced the highly regarded Usyk following a contentious split-decision victory over former mixed martial arts champion Francis Ngannou, who was making his boxing debut in October.

However, many ringside observers believed Fury would be far from complacent against Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion (21-0, 14 knockouts).

Fury had hoped to emulate the feat of fellow British heavyweight Lewis, who defeated Evander Holyfield 25 years ago to capture the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles at a period when the WBO was not recognized as a significant sanctioning organization.

A Queensberry representative stated, “It is clearly a massive disappointment, after the work that has been done by so many people to finally bring this historic event to the world.”

“Once the physicians have examined Tyson’s eye, we will have a clearer sense of the healing time required.Once confirmed, we will work tirelessly with all stakeholders and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reschedule this battle as soon as feasible.”

With Friday’s postponement, heavyweight boxing is in a condition of suspended animation in terms of key belts.

The March 8 non-title fight between Ngannou and Britain’s former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, which is also scheduled for Saudi Arabia, could now go place before the Fury-Usyk battle.

Joshua, who has been defeated twice by Usyk, will look to build on his commanding stoppage victory over Sweden’s Otto Wallin in December as he pursues a third world title.

Fury and Joshua have yet to face each other.

Written by PH

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