Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Fury vs Usyk postponed as Briton suffers ‘freak cut’ in training

The bout, which was scheduled for 17 February in Saudi Arabia, was due to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Friday 02 February 2024 18:30 GMT
Comments
Kody ‘Big Mo’ Mommaerts on life as ringmaster inside the combat sports arena

Tyson Fury’s fight with Oleksandr Usyk has been postponed, after the Briton suffered a ‘freak cut’ in training.

The bout, which was scheduled for 17 February in Saudi Arabia, was due to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years.

However, it was announced on Friday (2 February) that the fight has been pushed back, after Fury sustained a severe cut over his eye while sparring.

A statement from the 35-year-old’s promoters, Queensberry, read: “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 17 February in Saudi Arabia.”

Fury said: “I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition. 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 apologise 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.”

On Instagram, Fury added: “Can’t help getting injured in sparring, but what I can say was Usyk was in trouble. I am in fantastic shape. I will reschedule [as] soon as I can. 2024 a massive year for team GK [Gypsy King].”

The cut that has ruled Fury out of his fight with Usyk (@QueensberryPromotions via Instagram)

A spokesperson for Fury said: “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 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reschedule this fight as soon as possible, and will of course keep everyone updated with developments.”

Fury last fought in October, controversially beating ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou on points in Riyadh. The fight, which marked Ngannou’s boxing debut, was not a WBC title contest.

However, the belt was due to be defended in Riyadh on 17 February, with Usyk putting the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles on the line as well. The winner of the bout would have been crowned the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis lost that status in 2000.

Ukrainian Usyk last fought in August, retaining his titles with a stoppage win against Daniel Dubois. That victory kept the 37-year-old unbeaten, like Fury.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in