Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk: Eddie Hearn shows true colours with comment on suspicions | Boxing | Sport

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk: Eddie Hearn shows true colours with comment on suspicions | Boxing | Sport

Eddie Hearn has leapt to the defence of Tyson Fury, whose shocking withdrawal from his blockbuster February 17 fight against Oleksandr Usyk has sparked scepticism throughout the boxing world. The Matchroom Sport chairman has rubbished suggestions that Fury purposely suffered a freak injury during sparring in Saudi Arabia.

Fury and Usyk were set to go at it in a must-see bout in Riyadh later this month. However, on Friday night, it was announced that the WBC Heavyweight Champion had been forced to postpone.

“I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition,” a disappointed Fury said in a statement.

“I feel bad for everyone involved in this huge event, and I will work diligently towards the rescheduled date once the eye has healed.

“I can only apologise to everyone affected, including my own team, Team Usyk, the undercard fighters, partners, and fans, as well as our hosts and my friends in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The undefeated 35-year-old’s injury unsurprisingly garnered frustration from the millions excited to see him take on Usyk in the Middle East.

But Hearn has emphatically shut down suspicions that there is more to the story under the surface.

“I have no reason to defend Tyson Fury, but I will defend him,” Eddie Howe told Seconds Out after the bombshell announcement.

“Of course, it’s a ridiculous situation because what you’re ultimately implying is that Tyson Fury has basically asked someone to cut him open with a knife on his eye to avoid a fight, which is absolutely ridiculous.

“Like, Tyson Fury spars with an open head guard, but he’s done it all his career and many, many rounds. It looks like a complete freak injury.

“You’re not going to get Tyson Fury flying out to Riyadh, spending nine, 10 weeks wasting his time and life. He’s got a huge payday in front of him. He’s got a fight he believes he can win. And what?

“I mean, sometimes I think people watch too much Netflix [to suggest] that he’s gone, ‘Right, listen. Things aren’t going very well, so if I say that it’s a hand injury, no one will believe me.

“‘So what we’re going to do is get a knife or a scalpel, alright, just let me sit back here and, go on, cut my eye wide open really badly in a spot that may affect my scar tissue and future fights that I’m in, and we’ll just tell everyone it happened in sparring’. Come on… It’s ridiculous.”

He added: “The guy’s been around for ages and ages, and I’m sure he was well prepared for the biggest moment of his career. I would imagine Tyson Fury is absolutely gutted.”

Fury’s injury “required urgent medical attention and stitching”, and it’s unknown how long he is expected to be out of action.

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