Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter has warned Tyson Fury he risks “legal consequences” if he doesn’t honour their fight date of December 23.
Fury struggled throughout Saturday’s fight with the mixed martial artist Francis Ngannou, on the occasion of Ngannou’s professional debut, and to the extent that Fury’s promoter Frank Warren has since said that he “needs protecting him from himself” via Fury-Usyk being postponed so that he can recover and more thoroughly prepare.
The 36-year-old Usyk and his promoter Alex Krassyuk were present in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to watch Fury-Ngannou and therefore Fury being awarded a controversial split decision via scores of 96-93, 95-94 and 94-95.
Their presence owed partly to their attempts to promote the undisputed world heavyweight title fight – and for all of Fury’s and Warren’s suggestions since then that Fury-Usyk will be rescheduled, Krassyuk and Usyk remain adamant that it will not.
“In his mind he can [delay the fight], but legally he’s obliged to fight Oleksandr on the 23rd,” Krassyuk said. “He will suffer legal consequences.
“If we are responsible – by ‘we’ I mean our team and Fury’s team – if we are responsible people and we keep our word, and we keep what we have signed on paper, we have to comply with what is on paper. The world wants to see the undisputed heavyweight championship, not just the clash between Tyson and Usyk. They want to see the fight between Tyson and Usyk for the undisputed [title]. That’s what has to happen on the 23rd.
“If you listen to what my colleague Frank Warren started to say in the media, and immediately in the ring, they are thinking of extending the time for Tyson. But this fight was made between the fighters, not between the promoters.
“This fight was made by Tyson’s manager and Usyk’s manager, where they met first in New York, and then we all came to London and agreed on the conditions. Egis Klimas is Oleksandr Usyk’s manager, and Spencer Brown is Tyson Fury’s manager. So it was Tyson’s decision, and he gave his consent for the 23rd, because he wanted to fight as frequently as possible.
“Though we respect Fury as the [WBC] champ, we can’t really claim he’s a man of his word, according to what we had in the past. The good thing is that we have it on paper. Of course he can use any kind of excuse – that he got injured; he got cut; he got tired, or whatever – but this is the point where the commitment has to be executed.”