Frank Warren, co-promoter of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, has confirmed that a potential unification fight with Oleksandr Usyk is now off the table, at least for April 29. The two sides were unable to agree on the monetary terms for the contracted rematch, with Usyk requesting a 70-30 split in his favor for the rematch, while Fury was demanding a 50-50 rematch split.
Usyk’s handlers had put pressure on the fight to go ahead on April 29 at Wembley Stadium in London, but they warned that any delay to the fight would result in a different split. Warren believes that this was a tactic to avoid the match.
“The reason they did that was they didn’t think Tyson would be ready for the 29th and suddenly Tyson was ready for it. He has been in training camp for two and a half weeks, got trainers in from America and they looked for a way to get out,” Warren told BBC Sport.
Usyk, who holds the WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA titles, is now obligated to three separate mandatory defenses. He must now face WBA mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois, whom Warren also promotes. Then there is IBF mandatory Filip Hrgovic, and finally WBO mandatory challenger Joe Joyce, who has a fight scheduled next month with Zhang Zhilei.
“There is an established rota of who Usyk has to defend against,” Warren said. “That’s why after the 29th it goes away.”
It’s unfortunate news for boxing fans who were eagerly anticipating a Fury vs. Usyk unification bout, but it appears that it’s not going to happen anytime soon. For now, Fury will have to focus on his upcoming fight with an opponent yet to be determined, while Usyk will look to defend his titles against his mandatory challengers.