Sun. May 26th, 2024
Usyk and Fury are both undefeated in their pro careers

The undisputed heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk is unlikely to happen until next year, says promoter Frank Warren.

Briton Fury is the WBC champion and has agreed to fight Ukraine’s Usyk, who holds the three other world titles.

“We were going to do it on 23 December. I doubt that will happen now,” Warren told the 5 Live boxing podcast.

“Tyson can’t be going into a camp after a tough fight like that. That’s eight weeks away.

“He needs at least a bit of time to get himself, his body, back into shape. Let it heal. Then get into a camp. It will be on early next year.”

WBA, WBO and IBF champion Usyk was ringside in Riyadh and the two faced off in the ring after the fight.

Negotiations for a meeting between Fury and Usyk went on for the best part of a year until it was agreed in September.

A fight against Fury, which would crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era, would form part of ‘Riyadh Season’ – an entertainment events festival held in Saudi Arabia’s capital every winter since 2019.

“‘Riyadh season’ finishes in March, so [Fury-Usyk] could take place up until March,” Warren said.

Fury-Ngannou also formed part of ‘Riyadh Season’, with the Saudi Arabian government reportedly paying big money to host the crossover bout.

However, the country’s increased involvement in global sport has proved controversial.

Saudi Arabia’s increasing desire to host elite sporting events – including boxing matches, an annual Formula 1 race and a bid for the 2034 World Cup – has brought scrutiny because of the country’s poor human rights record.

Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, said in September he “does not care” about accusations the country is “sportswashing” – namely, investing in sport and using high-profile events to quell criticism of its practices and improve its international reputation.

French-Cameroonian Ngannou is a former UFC heavyweight champion who was making his boxing debut in Riyadh.

The 37-year-old novice came close to pulling off one the greatest shocks in boxing history against the undefeated Fury – a man considered by many as the best heavyweight boxer in the world.

Ngannou dropped Fury in round three after connecting with a left hook. One judge scored it 95-94 in favour of the debutant, two gave it to Fury at 96-93 and 95-94.

“I thought Tyson won it, I thought he won by three rounds at least,” Warren said.

The Queensberry promoter said he has advised Fury to take some time off after Ngannou gave him “the toughest fight he’s had in the last three fights”.

“I said go have a break. You don’t need to make any decisions tonight. You do it to your agenda,” Warren added.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn echoed some boxing fans and fighters on social media, who felt Ngannou should have been awarded the decision.

Hearn felt Ngannou won “by two rounds” and “Tyson Fury looked like he’s never laced a pair of gloves before”.

Speaking to Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel, Hearn called for Fury to offer Ngannou a rematch or face Britain’s two-time world champion Anthony Joshua.

“Forget Fury v Usyk, give us ‘AJ’ v Fury,” he said. “AJ will knock Tyson Fury out within six rounds. Make the fight otherwise we’ll never get it.”

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The post Fury-Usyk unlikely to happen in December – Warren appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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