The proposed undisputed heavyweight encounter between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk which was due to be held on December 23rd is reportedly off following Fury’s encounter with Francis Ngannou this past weekend.
Post-fight comments from Frank Warren suggest that he is reportedly aiming to push back the undisputed heavyweight encounter from the previously suggested date.
Fury produced an abject showing against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, suffering a third-round knockdown while managing to scrape through the contest and claim a split decision points win.
It was not the showing we expected from Fury, who was severely below par while taking nothing away from Ngannou. The ex-UFC fighter displayed that he was more than competent as a professional boxer.
Fury refused to confirm that he would fight Oleksandr Usyk in the immediate aftermath of the contest with Ngannou, insisting that ‘it’s not up to me’ when questioned by TNT Sports.
“Listen, it’s not up to me,” Fury said during his post-fight interview in the ring with TNT Sports. “I’m a fighter, he’s a fighter. I’m sure we’d go now. Let’s go now if you want, but listen, these guys will sort it all out, and it’ll be our next fight, guaranteed.”
However, Frank Warren, when speaking to Dec Taylor of Boxing News, stated that Fury’ needs protecting from himself’ seeking to rearrange the date of December 23rd.
“It will go ahead, but it will not be on the 23rd,” Warren confirmed. “It was crazy for some people to suggest that it could still go ahead on the 23rd.
“He is 35-years-old and has just done a 12-week training camp and has just been in a tough fight. He needs a break with his family, he needs to switch off and we will announce the date when we are ready. But the fight is signed. The fight will happen. It will happen early in the new year, late January or February. That will be up to Tyson. It is his body.
“Fury said in the ring that he would fight on the 23rd – and he would do it – but he needs protecting from himself, and that’s my job.”
Warren conceded that, in his opinion, the media build-up regarding the proposed undisputed heavyweight title fight was far from ideal for Fury to focus on the task at hand with Ngannou, along with various commitments imposed by the organisers of the Fury vs Ngannou event.
“I can’t say Tyson took the fight lightly, but it was unfortunate that the news came out that the Usyk fight had been made. But we had to do that because once you sign a contract, it leaks like a sieve.
“That wasn’t Tyson Fury in there. It was a bad day at the office. But it was a win. He won the fight through his grit and determination. Ngannou was very dangerous and strong and would give anyone a hard and tough fight.
“I’m not sure Tyson looked right – and he will be pissed off with me saying this – but I don’t think he looked right.
“It was important for him to do all the press things and the gala dinner before, but he should have just popped into that, had his dinner and gone. But Ngannou and all the other fighters did the same. Hindsight is useless. It is gone and done and finished. You cannot turn back the clock.
“We all give our views and opinions, but Tyson never looks for excuses. The next fight is a huge fight for all four of the belts, and he needs to decide when that can happen.”