By Jake Tiernan: The still unsigned Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk undisputed heavyweight championship is being targeted for April 29th, provided it gets made.
According to Mike Coppinger, April 29th is the date Fury-Usyk will take place. IBF, WBA & WBO champion Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) has already negotiated his side of the deal with the Saudis, and now we’re waiting to see if the WBC belt holder Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) will agree to a deal with them.
It’s still not a given that the Fury-Usyk fight takes place, unfortunately, because Fury has been solely focused on money, and he seems to view himself as the A-side in this affair despite only having one belt to Usyk’s three.
Will Fury reject the Saudi’s offer?
If Fury rejects the offer made to him, it’s possible the fight could be moved to Wembley Stadium in London. With that said, Usyk might not be amenable to taking a massive pay cut to fight Fury in the UK, especially with him expecting to take insist on a wide split.
The only reason it would make sense for Fury to bring it to the UK is for him to use that as justification to demand a wide split so that the money comes out ahead of the offer from the Saudis.
Fury is in a position where he doesn’t need to negotiate on even terms because he’s got former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou waiting in the wings for a lucrative summer exhibition fight. Additionally, Fury is interested in entertaining the wrestling ring for a WWE event.
If Fury chooses to go in a different direction from Usyk, the fight might not happen this year because both fighters have mandatory defenses they’ll need to make to hold onto their titles.
Usyk has Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois as mandatorys that he’ll need to address. For his part, Fury will need to defend against the winner of the Deontay Wilder vs. Andy Ruiz Jr WBC title eliminator.
If the rejuvenated former WBC champ Wilder blasts the former IBF, WBA & WBO champion Ruiz out, Fury may be stuck having to face Deontay for the fourth time.
Fury took a lot of punishment in the three fights with Wilder, and some feel that he should have been counted out in the first & third fights and disqualified for throwing rabbit punches in the second.
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk remain in talks for an undisputed heavyweight title fight being targeted for April 29, sources told ESPN.
Usyk closed his side of the deal with the Saudis and now Fury must. If not, the fight could head to Wembley. Ramadan ends on April 21.
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) February 1, 2023
Can Usyk hurt Fury?
“I see Tyson with his size, his stature, his height, his reach, making this fight very difficult for Oleksandr Usyk.,” said Kevin Barry to Secondsout.
“I know that Tyson Fury will not stand there and allow Usyk to dictate the terms of the fight like Anthony Joshua did. Tyson is far more aggressive. Taking the fight to him, exhausting the little man.
I don’t personally believe that Usyk has the power to hurt Tyson Fury. We know the resilience of Tyson Fury – we’ve seen him on the canvas in the three Wilder fights.
“We all look at his performances in the trilogy with Deontay Wilder – it was obvious after that that he is the number one fighter in the heavyweight division,” said Barry.