WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is yet to fight in 2023. He is yet to even schedule an opponent or set a date to box, after talks to box Oleksandr Usyk collapsed earlier in the year.
Usyk has been out of action for even longer. The Ukrainian has not boxed since he beat Anthony Joshua in their August rematch.
Mauricio Sulaiman, the president of the WBC, has lamented the stagnation of the heavyweight division and expects the WBC to soon order a mandatory challenger for Fury.
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Tyson Fury has been the “victim of the perils of money”, says WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman
“We have to take some action,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports. “There are different options. I’m going to address this with the board of governors, because already we’re entering June and there’s no scenario. Tyson Fury will make us proud and show who the WBC champion is.”
The WBC had ordered Deontay Wilder to box Andy Ruiz in a final eliminator that would determine the mandatory challenger for their heavyweight title. But that fight has not happened either.
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“That was announced since November,” Sulaiman said. “We’ve been patiently trying to do that. We didn’t push it in the hope that Fury would fight Usyk. So that was all the way to March [when the Fury-Usyk negotiations collapsed]. So we have to take some decisions.”
Anthony Joshua is highly ranked with the WBC. He could be called as the mandatory challenger for Fury’s title.
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“That’s a possibility. If Wilder and Ruiz are not fighting for the final elimination, Joshua’s right there at No 3. That’s possible,” Sulaiman acknowledged.
“I don’t want to speculate because that would be irresponsible to try to make something up. We have to go through a process. The WBC board of governors will make that decision.
“At this stage anything is possible. There’s too much talent, too many great fights, too many great combinations that could be made for heavyweight and everything is stalled.”
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An ongoing problem for the sport, particularly in the heavyweight division, has been the failure to make the biggest fights. But Sulaiman is optimistic nevertheless.
“Of course there’s concern about heavyweight underperforming in the fights that have been done. But that’s not the fault of anyone but just greed and power. So hopefully they will come to their senses and make the fights happen. Tyson Fury’s the victim of the perils of money,” Sulaiman said.
“But he’s willing to fight anyone and I’m sure he will be active very soon.”