‘Ring of Fire’ fight to crown undisputed heavyweight champion was postponed after Tyson Fury suffered a cut in sparring; Fury had been due to meet Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday February 17; the bout will now take place in Saudi Arabia on May 18
Tyson Fury has suffered a cut in sparring which has forced his undisputed heavyweight clash with Oleksandr Usyk to be postponed.
Tyson Fury’s undisputed heavyweight world title clash with Oleksandr Usyk has been rescheduled for May 18 after the fight was postponed because of a cut to the British boxer.
WBC champion Fury was due to battle WBO, WBA and IBF titlist Usyk in Saudi Arabia in the ‘Ring of Fire’ fight on Saturday, February 17.
A day after the postponement had been confirmed on Friday, the fighters appeared on a live stream – from different locations – in which each confirmed they had agreed to new date for the fight, which will still take place in Riyadh.
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Tyson Fury goaded Oleksandr Usyk in a message to his fans as he confirmed his undisputed fight with the Ukrainian has been rescheduled for May 18th.
Explaining the injury, Fury said: “I arranged to spar 12 rounds with four different guys.
“In round five I got an elbow in the eye, a split eye, and obviously I’ve been to the hospital and had 11 stitches.
The tension between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk was evident from their first head to head as the heavyweight champions had to be held back.
“They have the medical reports, they have everything. Nothing much anybody can do about getting a cut in sparring, s**t happens. I’ve never had one before, first time for everything.”
During the stream, for which Fury was accompanied by event organiser Turki Alalashikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s general entertainment authority, it was also confirmed that the entire February 17 show has been postponed, ending speculation that Usyk could fight a stand-in opponent.
Alalashikh also said that Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev have agreed to fight in an undisputed light-heavyweight world title clash in Saudi Arabia on June 1.
‘Never a coward’ – Fury hits back at Klimas in heated exchange
Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas, who was sat alongside the Ukrainian fighter – and serving as a translator – during the live stream, had told Sky Sports on Friday that Fury “will do anything to not face Usyk” before mockingly adding that maybe “he was hit by a frying pan which he asked for”.
While Usyk wished Fury a “fast recovery” Klimas stood by his accusation that the Brit is avoiding the long-awaited clash with Usyk, insisting he “still feels the same” about the postponement.
“Maybe when you want to get cut, you’re going to get cut,” Klimas said.
“He didn’t want to fight Usyk, he’s scared.”
Is this the best promo ever? Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk show their acting skills!
In a heated exchange, Fury strongly refuted Klimas’ claims.
He said: “Why would I not want to fight for the biggest payday of my life and put 10 weeks into a training camp?
“You’ve never had a fight in your life and you’re calling me a coward.
“Never call me a coward again. I’ve had 35 professional fights and been boxing 18 years of my life. I’ve climbed off the canvas 10 times, off the biggest punchers in history to win. Never a coward, never backed down from any man in my life.”
The road to Fury vs Usyk
Fury first became a unified world champion when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, only to lose those titles outside the ring after over two years of inactivity.
He made a remarkable return in 2018 with that contentious draw against Wilder before beating the American in two further fights, in February 2020 and October 2021.
Matthew Macklin and Johnny Nelson gave their reaction after it was revealed that the undisputed heavyweight clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Fury headlined two stadium fights in London in 2022, stopping Dillian Whyte and Chisora to defend his belt, before his non-title win over Ngannou in October 2023.
Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, has flourished since stepping up to heavyweight, dethroning Joshua to claim the IBF, WBO and WBA titles in September 2021.
The Ukrainian secured another emphatic points win over Joshua the following year and then beat Dubois in his only bout of 2023, stopping the Brit in the ninth round.
Usyk – a gold medallist at the London Olympics in 2012 – became a renowned global figure after returning to Ukraine when Russia invaded in February of 2022.
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