The highly anticipated unified heavyweight championship fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk is officially off.
Days after a breathtaking cinematic trailer was released hyping their long-awaited clash scheduled to go down on February 17 in Riyadh, ‘The Gypsy King’ announced that he would be withdrawing from the contest after sustaining a cut over his right eye.
FURY VS USYK STATEMENT pic.twitter.com/z7nf4Q3N70
— Queensberry Promotions (@Queensberry) February 2, 2024
“I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition,” 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 apologize 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.”
Fury was originally set to meet the reigning WBA, IBF, and WBO titleholder on December 23, but a near-disaster against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou left Fury unable to make the quick turnaround.
Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, told SI Now that “it could be several months before Fury is ready to fight.” Additionally, IBF mandatory title challenger, Filip Hrgovic, has offered to step in and face Usyk on Feb. 17, though nothing is official as of this writing.
🎥FURY CUT FOOTAGE
Footage of the punch that allegedly cut Tyson Fury in training pic.twitter.com/sgjuBqCFab
— NoSmokeBoxing (@NoSmokeBoxing) February 2, 2024
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk Reportedly Targeting June 2023 for Rescheduled Scrap
Fortunately, it appears as though the fight will simply be postponed rather than canceled. Neither side has confirmed a timeline for Fury’s return, but ESPN’s Salvador Rodriguez posted on X that both parties appear to be circling June for the rescheduled scrap.
“Fury vs Usyk will be postponed!! They tell me he will have to tentatively reschedule in June due to a possible cut during a Fury sparring match,” Rodriguez wrote in a translated post. “The story will have to wait a few more months.”
Fury vs Usyk se pospondrá!!
Me dicen que tendrá que reprogramar tentativo en junio por un posible corte durante un sparring de Fury. La historia tendrá que esperar unos meses más 🥊
— Salvador Rodriguez (@ChavaESPN) February 2, 2024
Oleksandr Usyk last defended his titles against Daniel Dubois in August 2023 where the Ukrainian scored a ninth-round knockout.
It’s been more than a year since Tyson Fury put up the WBC heavyweight title, going 3-0 against Derek Chisora in their third and (hopefully) final meeting in December 2022. ‘The Gypsy King’ went 10 rounds with Francis Ngannou in October of last year, narrowly escaping via a split decision victory after being knocked down by ‘The Predator’ in round three.