A mechanical breakdown in the car. The obligation to take turns accompanying the mother-in-law to the traumatologist. A broken pipe in the kitchen. The need to take the dog to the vet. Any argument can be useful when you want to evade a commitment. The Brits seem to have used that bag of excuses Fury of Tyson dribble one of the most awaited matches of these times in the boxing world: the one he would face next month with the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usik and which, for these hours, is parked on the avenue of broken dreams.
Although the documents had not yet been signed, everything indicated that Usyk, the heavyweight champion of the World Boxing Association, the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Organization, would face Fury, the monarch of the World Boxing Council, on April 29 at Wembley to crown an undisputed heavyweight king for the first time since the four big governing bodies began to coexist. However, the devil is in the details (which, in cases like these, sometimes have a high price) and these days he has put his tail on.
The fight had begun to wind down on December 3, when Fury capped off his second, short and improbable retirement with an inglorious victory over Zimbabwean Derek Chisora. That night, Usyk followed the action from ringside and, following the outcome, stepped into the ring. About the consortium and in a language difficult to find in the work of his compatriot William Shakespeare, the Briton blurted out: “You’re next, you little shit, fagot bunny. I already killed a Ukrainian (Wladimir Klitschko in 2015) and now I’m going to kill you, you son of a bitch, you little idiot.”. Silent, the London 2012 Olympic champion looked at him as if he were watching the flight of a flock of birds over a meadow. Thus the seed of mourning was planted.
From that moment negotiations began between the teams of both, in which a criterion of disparity was always overlooked, despite the fact that a confrontation between two champions and between the two best exponents of the premier class was being prepared. The distribution of purses was the first leonine condition to be imposed: it was suggested by Fury’s offices that the British would keep 70% and his opponent 30%. While the men in suits made offers, those in charge of distributing the shots also did their part in a field convenient to them: social networks.
“From my point of view, you and your team are 30%. Take or leave. If you want to earn real money, come and fight against the gypsy king. Starting today, for every day you enjoy yourself, I’m going to discount 1%. Sign the contract, take your money and go to hell.”Fury told Usyk in a video posted to his Instagram account on March 10. The answer only took a few minutes to arrive: “hey greedy bellyI accept your 70/30 distribution offer. But I promised to donate a million pounds to Ukraine right after the fight. And for every day you are late, you will pay 1% of your purse to the people of Ukraine. Done deal?”.
Three days later, the open-air debate began to revolve around the point that would ultimately derail the fight: a mandatory retaliation clause that no one was done dealing with. “The people at Usyk are talking about putting in a rematch clause. What if there’s no fucking stipulation for either of us?”Fury fought on Instagram. “The stipulation came your way, not mine. Stop whining and sneaking around. Be a man and sign the contract or drop the belt.”retorted the Ukrainian.
By now the team of the former undisputed champion of cruise ships already suspected that the Englishman, with all these conditions, was only trying to escape. “Let’s imagine that Oleksandr accepts that there is no rematch. Then Fury will look for something else to get out of. His credibility is in tatters. The man is trying to escape.”accused Alex Krassuyk, promoter of Usyk.
Despite mistrust and verbal quarrels, the negotiations never stopped. A conference call was held last Sunday attended by promoters, executives and lawyers from both sides in which the purse distribution agreement was ratified (70% for Fury and 30% for Usyk) and a agreement. the details for the match on 29 April. However, differences arose when discussing the terms of a possible rematch.
The parties agreed that if the rematch took place in the Middle East, each side would negotiate its own package with the backers of the night, as happened when Usyk faced Anthony Joshua for the second time in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in August 2022 . The problem arose when the possibility of retaliation taking place in the UK was raised: Usyk’s team felt the split of the money should be 70/30 in favor of the winner of the first case; Fury’s, that this would be the distribution if his fighter was victorious in the first fight, but that it should be 50/50 if his man was defeated on April 29th.
One of the arguments used by the managers of the gypsy king it was that Usyk agreed to similar terms when he signed his contract for the first fight with Joshua in September 2021. But then the Ukrainian was the challenger. Now he was trading from the position of a triple heavyweight champion, something his counterpart never seemed to appreciate. “The man in the street does not know who has which belts. He knows who Fury is, but he doesn’t know who Oleksandr Usyk is.”argued Frank Warren, Fury’s co-promoter.
The tussle stopped on Wednesday when the Ukrainian’s promoter confirmed that the fight had definitely broken down. “They have gone too far. Oleksandr accepted 70/30 as a courtesy, because he was so willing to make this match. But if it’s so complicated that Tyson tries to avoid it by throwing up so many obstacles, then there’s no need to try harder.”, explained Alex Krassyuk in statements given to the British radio TalkSport. He added: “If I started telling you the things Fury wanted, 15 minutes just wouldn’t be enough. There was a list of absolutely unacceptable things, a total lack of respect.”
Friendly but firm, Frank Warren declines all responsibility for the failure of the negotiations and defends the distribution of the purses he had collected for possible revenge. “The amount of money (Usyk) would make in the event of a rematch would be significant. That would be more money as an underdog than he would make as a champion fighting any other guy that he might face.”, he has declared. “They can disguise it as they like, but they’ve withdrawn (from the deal),” she said.
Far less diplomatic was Fury loading the inks on his frustrated rival for the call off of the fight. “You were never man enough to face the gypsy kingfucking coward”, the 34-year-old boxer, whose future is once again tinged with uncertainty, bonded with him through a video. “I don’t know what you want to do. Everything is very raw right now. He could retire,” speculated Frank Warren.
For now, some have already raised their hand to address it. The first was Mexican Andy Ruiz, former WBA, IBF and WBO monarch, self-proclaimed via Instagram. No one can question him for attempting him, as this gave him, when he was little less than an unknown to the general public, the chance to face and defeat Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden in June 2019.
For his part, promoter Eddie Hearn has named Joshua as opponent, who will face American Jermaine Franklin in London next weekend. “For Fury, that fight would be, financially speaking, twice as big as Usyk’s. And we could sign right away, after we win against Franklin,” he proposed. Joshua wasn’t too keen on the possibility: “I can’t say I’ll wait for that geek. There are other great fights I can do. If he’s available, so am I. If it’s not there, it doesn’t matter.”.
For the undefeated Usyk, winner of his 20 paid fights, time is running out now, as he has three mandatory challengers waiting. Due to the rotation system established by the organizations for unified champions, the first on the list is Briton Daniel Dubois, regular WBA monarch (the Ukrainian is recognized as a super champion). And behind them are the Croatian Filip Hrgovic, number one in the IBF ranking, and the Englishman Joe Joyce, interim WBO champion. The Usyk team announced that this weekend they will start preparing for the next presentation of their fighter, which will take place in June or July.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.