By Barry Holbrook: Deontay Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel says that the ‘Bronze Bomber’ will take the fight against IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk “in a heartbeat” if his undisputed clash against Tyson Fury is off.
According to Mike Coppinger, the Fury-Usyk fight is now off due to Fury making too many demands in the negotiations for their hoped-for undisputed clash on April 29th at Wembley Stadium in London.
Deontay Wilder wants in 💣 pic.twitter.com/iJVWP5yRcc
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) March 22, 2023
It’s questionable whether Usyk would take the fight against former WBC champion Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) because he would likely lose his WBA title if he were to go in that direction.
Usyk has his WBA mandatory Daniel Dubois that the must defend against next if he wants to keep his title with that organization. The World Boxing Association already gave an April 1st deadline for the Fury-Usyk contracts to be signed, or they would order the Usyk-Dubois clash.
“If the Oleksandr Usyk fight is available, Deontay Wilder will take it in a heartbeat,” said Shelly Finkel to Sky Sports.
The Fury vs. Usyk negotiations are still going on, so it’s possible that they could get past this obstacle in the talks to put together a deal. Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas told Steve Kim that Fury kept pushing for more, making negotiating an agreement with him impossible.
“No matter how much Usyk compromised, he was pushed for more," Usyk's manager, Egis Klimas, told @SteveKim323, who first reported that talks had fallen apart.
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) March 22, 2023
It’s not surprising that Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) couldn’t agree to a deal with the increasingly difficult to negotiate with Fury.
The 6’9′” WBC champion Fury had also failed in his talks with Anthony Joshua last November in a fight that would have made both a mountain of money. If Fury can’t put together a deal as big as the Joshua one, due to him setting deadlines, it’s not a shock that he couldn’t hammer out a deal with Usyk.
There’s more money, obviously, for Usyk if he were to take the Wilder fight, but Oleksandr might not be interested in giving up his WBA belt.
If Usyk chooses to go in that direction, he would need to feel confident that he can put together a deal because if the negotiations go sour, as they seemingly have with Fury, Usyk would lose his WBA title and have nothing to show for the time he spent trying to put together a deal.