Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk failure ‘extremely disappointing’ says WBC: ‘Window of opportunity won’t be there in a long time’ | Boxing News
The collapse of negotiations over an undisputed heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has drawn consternation from across the boxing world.
Instead of finalising plans for a stadium fight at the end of April, the Fury-Usyk talks fell apart before the last points of a deal could be agreed.
The heavyweight division hasn’t had an undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999-2000.
Fury versus Usyk could have been a special moment, given how rare it is for any fight to unify all four of the major world titles.
Fury is the WBC heavyweight champion and last April beat mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte before defeating Derek Chisora in December.
Usyk won the WBA, WBO and IBF belts in 2021 and defended them in his August rematch with Anthony Joshua, but will soon have his own mandatory challengers to deal with.
As far as an undisputed bout is concerned, the WBC fears that “this window of opportunity will not be there in a long time”.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Sky Sports that the failure to make the Fury vs Usyk fight was “extremely disappointing”.
“The WBC has been extremely supportive of the ultimate unification fight between Fury and Usyk to determine the undisputed champion in the heavyweight division,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports.
“It is extremely disappointing that such a match will not take place as this window of opportunity will not be there in a long time, it will be difficult to have everything aligned as there are mandatories for each organisation.”
Fury is now looking for a new opponent for his next fight. The WBC’s next top two ranked heavyweight contenders are former champions Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz.
Wilder and Ruiz have not yet agree to fight one another but the WBC has previously called for them to box in a final eliminator for the heavyweight title.
“The WBC convention ruled that a final elimination would take place between Wilder and Ruiz to determine the mandatory contender of the division,” Sulaiman said.
“The WBC had been waiting for the confirmation of the unification fight so we will now review the following steps to be taken.”
Could Fury still fight Usyk?
Kalle Sauerland has been observing the progress of the Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk negotiations.
Wasserman promoter Sauerland represents Filip Hrgovic, who will be the mandatory challenger for the IBF heavyweight title eventually.
Sauerland though still believes that while Fury vs Usyk might not be happening next month, it could still take place later this year.
“I’ve just got this feeling that it might still get done but okay, it appears no. But they seem to be arguing over a very, very small point in the contract if it’s just the split on the rematch,” Sauerland told Sky Sports. “Maybe they still get it done.
“It’s unfortunate but I still think we’ll see that fight one day.”
He explained: “The 70/30 [purse split in Fury’s favour], I get it. The way old school fights got made was: ‘You’re from the UK, you keep the UK TV. You’re from Ukraine, you keep Ukrainian TV. The rest of it we’ll split and we’ll split the gate.’ If I figure it out like that, it ends up at 70/30. That’s not changed over the years.
“They accepted 70/30 [for a first fight] so it’s not a knock on Team Usyk, they’re great guys.
“The sport lives off the big fights being made. Generally they get made,” he added.
“It’s not a good look. At the same time boxing does deliver those big fights. Half the drama in boxing is them not getting made, then getting made.
“That’s part of the build up. It’s nothing new… generally they do get made. I still think if it doesn’t get made now, it will get made later this year.
“Also, I’ll put my big mouth on here again, I think Fury against [Anthony] Joshua gets made before they retire.”