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Other SportsTyson Fury date for Oleksandr Usyk fight is 'deadest deadline'

Tyson Fury date for Oleksandr Usyk fight is ‘deadest deadline’

Tyson Fury’s undisputed heavyweight title fight against Oleksandr Usyk will not take place if the Briton is not fit for the rearranged date of May 18, the Ukrainian’s promoter has warned.

WBC champion Fury had been scheduled to face Usyk in Saudi Arabia on February 17 but withdrew from the fight on Friday after suffering a cut in sparring.

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The IBF, which is one of the sanctioning bodies whose titles Usyk holds alongside the WBA and WBO straps, has allowed a 90-day extension for Usyk to defend his belt.

“If it doesn’t happen on May 29, it will never happen because of the IBF issue,” Alex Krassyuk told Boxing News.

“The passage is limited and that’s why we have May the 18th as the deadest deadline for the undisputed fight to take place.”

Turki Al-Sheikh, the Chairman of fight organisers the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia, arranged the new date within 24 hours of Fury, 35, revealing the deep cut above his right eye which required stitching and has left him unable to take on Usyk this month.

The postponement at two weeks’ notice is the third time since 2023 that the fight has been rearranged, and Usyk had entered talks over a mandatory IBF defence against Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic on February 17 before the new date for his fight with Fury was announced.

The withdrawal immediately led to speculation that Fury will never meet Usyk and could even retire, although the fighter known as ‘The Gypsy King’ described himself as “absolutely devastated” in a statement and has reacted scathingly to criticism from his opponent’s camp.

Al-Sheikh has emphasised the finality of the date and said he has guarantees from both fighters that they will forfeit £9.3 million if they fail to take part in a bout which would decide the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era.

“You have so many fans around the world – people follow you,” Krassyuk said when he was asked for a message to Fury.

“Please, don’t lead them along the wrong path. So many kids are watching you and seeing an example.

“Behave yourself. Recover, get back to work, work hard – we want you in the best possible shape.”

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