In a significant setback to the boxing world, the eagerly awaited undisputed heavyweight title clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has been delayed following a “freak” cut sustained by the British champion during training. Fury, 35, suffered the injury in sparring at his Saudi Arabia training camp on Friday while gearing up for the scheduled bout on February 17 in Riyadh.
The cut above Fury’s right eye required immediate medical attention and extensive stitching, prompting the postponement of the historic showdown. Fury, who holds the WBC title, expressed deep disappointment, stating he had been preparing for the face-off against Usyk, the WBA, WBO, and IBF titleholder, for an extended period and was in peak physical condition.
The winner of this highly anticipated clash was poised to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era, adding further significance to the bout. Fury, acknowledging the impact on the event, assured that he would diligently work towards a rescheduled date once his eye had healed.
In an Instagram post, Fury shared insights into the situation, emphasising his superb physical shape despite the unfortunate injury. He also highlighted that Usyk was facing challenges during their sparring sessions. Usyk’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, wished Fury a speedy recovery and hinted at contemplating retirement.
Promoters Queensberry Promotions stated that the recovery period would be determined after a thorough assessment by medical professionals. Meanwhile, IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic expressed his readiness to step in and face Usyk in light of Fury’s injury.
Originally scheduled for December 23, the bout faced previous delays due to Fury’s controversial decision win over Francis Ngannou in October. Fury, a Morecambe-born fighter with an impressive professional record of 34 wins and one draw since 2008, had previously encountered challenges in finalising terms with Usyk after a proposed bout in April fell through. The boxing community now eagerly awaits updates on the rescheduled date and the eventual clash between these two heavyweight titans.