On Friday, Queensberry Promotions announced that that Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) has been forced to withdraw from the highly anticipated Feb. 17 heavyweight championship bout after suffering a cut in training. The news was first reported by Sports Illustrated.
See the official statement and a picture of the cut below.
WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury has been forced to postpone his fight with unified Champion Oleksandr Usyk after sustaining a freak cut during a sparring session in Riyadh.
The cut, which opened above Fury’s right eye, required urgent medical attention and significant stitching, and will obviously require a period of recovery, scuppering any possibility of the fight with Usyk taking place on 17th February in Saudi Arabia.
A spokesperson aid: “Whilst this is still breaking news it is clearly a massive disappointment, after the work that has been done by so many people to finally deliver this historic event to the world. Once the doctors have appraised Tyson’s eye, we will have a better idea of the period of recovery needed. Once known we will work diligently with all the stakeholders and the Kingdon of Saudi Arabia to reschedule this fight as soon as possible and will of course keep everyone updated with developments.”
“I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition,” Fury said in the 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.”
The fight, set to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was arranged to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion, with Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) holding the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles, and Fury holding the WBC title.
Fury and Usyk have been in talks to face one another for the past few years, and the path became clear after Fury narrowly escaped an upset loss to PFL fighter and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou this past October, while Usyk is coming off of a successful title defense against Daniel Dubois.
Sports Illustrated also reported that Usyk would still like to compete on Feb. 17, though the timetable for Fury’s return to competition is unknown. IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs) has reportedly expressed interest in stepping in for Fury.
Ngannou didn’t wait long to comment on the news, suggesting that his upcoming March 8 bout with boxing star Anthony Joshua should now decide who is the undisputed heavyweight champion.