Usyk Promoter Pushes for Fury Title Stripping, Eyes Hrgovic Clash

By Charles Brun - 02/03/2024 - Comments

Alex Krassyuk, the promoter for unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, wants Tyson Fury to be stripped of his WBC title, given the ‘Champion in recess’ tag by the sanctioning body, allowing Usyk to battle another contender for the undisputed championship.

Fury’s Sidelined Status

Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) is on the sidelines after suffering a cut over his right eye on Friday in a sparring accident and had to pull out of his February 17th match against Usyk in Saudi Arabia.

The 35-year-old Fury is hurt, and the estimates that have been thrown around are that he will be out of commission for at least three months, nursing his hurt eye and possibly more.

You can’t have a champion sitting on a title for many months, especially when the Saudis have gone through so much trouble assembling the February 17th card and spending untold cash on the western-style promo, which included some of the Fury clan dressed up as cowboys.

Krassyuk’s Proposal

1. Strip ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury: With the WBC belt available, Usyk can battle highly ranked Filip Hrgovic for the undisputed championship while Tyson licks his wounds.

2. ‘Champion in recess’ tag: The World Boxing Council customarily strips champions when they suffer injuries. When that happens, the champ is given the ‘Champion in recess tag.’ Will the WBC do the right thing by stripping Fury?

Mauricio Sulaiman, the WBC president, hasn’t commented yet on whether he’ll accept Usyk’s idea of stripping the injured Fury of his title so that he can fight for the belt.

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Hrgovic as Replacement Opponent

Krassyuk plans to use Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs) as the opponent who will step in and face Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) for the undisputed championship.

Hrgovic has already earned the IBF mandatory position by beating Zhilei Zhang, albeit by a controversial decision, but beaten him nonetheless.

Fury’s eye injury and advanced age make it tricky to guess when or if he’ll return to the ring. Older fighters can sometimes take extended periods to convalesce from their injuries, and Fury fits the category of being an oldie.

It was disturbing to listen to him talking this week, saying he doesn’t care about the belts and is just focused on the money he’s getting from the Saudis.

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