Agron Smakici, the boxer who cut Tyson Fury and delayed his undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk, has broken his silence on the incident. During a Friday afternoon sparring session in preparation for the highly-anticipated bout, the Croatian puncher opened a gash above Fury’s right eye that required 11 stitches.
Due to the severity of the cut organisers had no option but to push Usyk vs Fury back from February 17 to May 18. Shortly after the news broke reports circulated online claiming Smakici showed ‘zero remorse’ for his actions.
But the 33-year-old, speaking to the media for the first time during an exclusive interview with Express Sport, asserts the quotes are made up. “I don’t know who said that. This is the first time I am speaking about this… I have not told this story,” he said.
“It was a strange day. Throughout the two weeks, I was sparring with him [Fury] we did hard sparring in the evenings but that day it was at about midday.
“During the spar, there was a lot of wrestling, and I also do professional wrestling so I had some good moments keeping him in the wrong positions. He was joking around, as he always does, and we were roughing each other up on the inside.”
Leaked footage from their final sparring session together appeared to show that an elbow was the cause of the cut. Smakici insists this was accidental. “When you see the punch, I know I shot a clear punch but the way he held my head, he was pulling my head forward to him,” he continued. “So, that’s maybe why the elbow came through also. But it was a punch first of all. It was a freak accident.”
Recalling how Fury reacted to the cut, Smakici added: “He was very professional. He wasn’t blaming anyone. Obviously, he was shocked and devastated but he wasn’t annoyed with me or anything like that.”
Smakici was drafted into Fury’s camp alongside undefeated British heavyweight prospect Moses Itauma and cruiserweight king Jai Opetaia to help emulate Usyk’s style. He shared between six and nine rounds with the Brit in total and described Fury as being in ‘good shape’.
Contrary to reports claiming that the WBC champion was getting ‘turned over’ in the gym, Smakici says Fury was ‘sparring well’. “I would like to come again and help him [Fury] spar because I gave him the best sparring rounds and I will even put on an elbow protector next time so that nothing can happen,” Smakici quipped.