Tyson Fury doubts obvious as Oleksandr Usyk backup plan emerges | Boxing | Sport

Tyson Fury doubts obvious as Oleksandr Usyk backup plan emerges | Boxing | Sport

Oleksandr Usyk has a ready-to-go alternative plan if Tyson Fury doesn’t fight him on May 18. It’s emerged Usyk has Filip Hrgovic still on standby if Fury is unavailable for their rescheduled heavyweight championship bout.

The fight was originally planned for February 17, but it got delayed after Fury suffered a cut in training camp. Usyk, aged 37, last stepped in the ring against Daniel Dubois, and won a tough fight and is now trying to unify the heavyweight division. 

The contract for the fight has a clause to ensure neither boxer will be inactive for too long. If Fury can’t fight, he’ll have to pay $10 million from his fight purse to Usyk and likewise, Usyk will have to do the same if he can’t compete. Usyk’s coach, Sergey Lapin, shared that other plans are in place if Fury doesn’t step in the ring.

“I hope Usyk will get the chance to settle the score with Fury on May 18,” he told Fruity Slots, “but if he continues to run, then we have a clause in the agreement to replace Fury with Filip Hrgovic.

“Hrgovic is the backup opponent, so the show will go on regardless of whether he shows up. This was also confirmed by (the event’s organizer) His Excellency Turki Al Sheikh.”

Hrgovic, who is the next contender for Usyk’s IBF belt, has been ready for his big moment since summer 2022. Whoever wins between Fury and Usyk will need to defend their title straight away against the undefeated Croatian.

Lapin shared his suspicions about the real reason the fight was postponed. He said: “There were rumors Fury’s preparations were not going to plan, and then promoter Alex Krassyuk called me to say Fury’s cut, the circumstances are more than suspicious. 

He questioned how Fury could get hurt with all the safety gear used in training: “In this modern era, with all the advanced and protective head guards available to top-level fighters, as well as the big gloves used in sparring, it seems impossible to me that he sustained such an injury in sparring.

“It’s my instinct that something suspicious happened, maybe because Fury wasn’t ready to fight. Maybe he was dropped heavily in sparring, and they needed to buy themselves more time.

“But are we really surprised that Tyson Fury continues to run from Usyk? Are we really surprised that Fury has found another way to avoid the fight? This is nothing new.”

Finally, Lapin made a bold prediction about what would happen if Fury did step into the ring with Usyk: “Also, for a second, let’s say he did get cut – through a head guard and with large training gloves – can you imagine what will happen to his head when he receives a bomb from the Usyk in a ten-ounce glove?

“If Fury finally dares to enter the ring on May 18, then it will be a terrible dream for him; he has never boxed with a boxer of this level in his life.”

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