Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter fears Tyson Fury will pull out of undisputed fight again | Boxing | Sport

Oleksandr Usyk's promoter fears Tyson Fury will pull out of undisputed fight again | Boxing | Sport

Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk is unconvinced that the Ukranian will face off against Tyson Fury in their slated unified heavyweight contest in May. The pair had previously been penned in for their era-defining decider February 17 before ‘The Gypsy King’ was forced to withdraw due to a gash to the face sustained in training. 

The ‘Ring of Fire’ spectacle was swiftly re-arranged to allow for Fury to complete his recovery following the injury as he looks to become the first fighter since Lennox Lewis in 2000 to hold all major belts in the weight division. Currently, the Brit is the WBC heavyweight champion, with adversary Usyk boasting the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO title honours.

After that re-scheduling, the official line coming out of Fury’s camp has been that he is focused on fighting his rival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this spring. However, it now appears that Usyk’s representatives are fearful that the 35-year-old may not be as eager to come good on his agreement to take part in a re-match later in the year. 

Giving an honest assessment of the current state of play ahead of what promises to be a historic match-up,  the promoter for ‘The Cat’ admitted he is unsure over whether a second clash will materialize. Speaking to WBN, he confessed: “Theoretically, the rematch should happen before the end of 2024. However, we all know that Tyson is not the world’s best rematch-er.

“And after he loses to Usyk in the first bout, you cannot predict his behaviour at all. I say this, but I have no guarantee that the first fight ever takes place. The man has withdrawn four times in a row already. We have even decided to stop all the jokes and criticisms towards Luke to support his confidence.”

The matters in this regard are complicated somewhat by the insistence from Saudi Arabian boxing helmsman Turki Alalshikh that any withdrawals could result in Fury being landed with a reported £10 million penalty. Either way, Krassyuk seems unconvinced the overtures from the Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority bear much weight in Fury’s thought process. 

“If there is anything else we can do to help him get in the ring with Usyk, we are ready to do that,” he instead continued, as he made a vow over his client’s intentions. “Usyk’s goal is to get the fourth heavyweight belt and to complete the undisputed. After accomplishing this mission other options can be regarded.”

Speaking on the DAZN Boxing Show in the build up to the fight between Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou earlier this month, Fury issued a telling response when talking about the prospect of facing Usyk. Although the Manchester-born colossus did confirm his intentions to honour the date set for May 18, he was open about his bemusement with the prospect of a re-match. 

“We had this big argument this year, I don’t know if you remember when I said ‘no rematch clauses’, but [Usyk] was acting like a little b— crying over a rematch, he said. “He didn’t want to just throw it down and whoever won, won, so he ends up getting his rematch clause.”

Either way, there was a commitment from ‘the Gypsy King’ to take part in back-to-back bouts in 2024 – even if he is seemingly doing so under duress. Dismissing doubts over whether a re-match would take place, he added: “There’ll be two fights this year [between] me and Usyk, regardless of whatever happens in the first one.”

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