'Freak cut' rules Fury out of Usyk showdown

Tyson Fury has been ruled out of his undisputed heavyweight title fight with Oleksandr Usyk after suffering a “freak cut” during sparring.

The long-term rivals had been set to finally fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 17, after their previous date of December 23 was postponed when Fury struggled throughout his narrow victory over Francis Ngannou.

The 35-year-old Fury’s cut reportedly required stitches. 

Usyk, 37, is reportedly considering an alternative fight with Filip Hrgovic.

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

“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.”

“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,” read a statement from Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions.

“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.”