Top Rank are still hopeful that an undisputed world heavyweight title clash between WBC champion Tyson Fury and Unified world champion Oleksandr Usyk can still be agreed upon despite previous protracted negotiations between the two heavyweight parties.
Talks between the two respective champions occurred for most of the early months of 2023 with a provisional April date, which would have seen the heavyweight encounter take place at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Fury, however, took the lead in negotiations and listed his demands that he take the lion’s share of any purse split after offering Usyk, despite being unified WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion, Usyk was offered a flat 30% split of the purse for the proposed April fight. Ultimately, talks collapsed after not agreeing to terms regarding any possible future rematch purse agreements.
Despite this, Usyk would move on and recently defended his unified world titles against Daniel Dubois in Wroclaw, Poland. Dubois, who was mandatory to face Usyk courtesy of the WBA, fell to a ninth-round stoppage defeat in his maiden world title challenge.
Fury, meanwhile, is next in action on October 25th in Saudi Arabia and will face Francis Ngannou in a ten-round non-title fight. However, Fury-Ngannou does have the support of the WBC and, as expected, created a title in ‘honour’ of the contest with Ngannou making his professional debut in boxing following in the steps of Connor McGregor when he was famously halted against Floyd Mayweather in August 2017.
If and when Fury successfully negates past Ngannou, Todd DeBoef [Top Rank President] believes that talks between Fury and Usyk will recommence in better circumstances suitable for all parties involved.
“Absolutely,” DuBoef told Sky Sports. “I think we were plagued by timing in this last go-around. Timing from both guys just didn’t match up and we were trying to squeeze this fight in, in the spring, before the Dubois-Usyk mandatory had to happen.
“There were a bunch of circumstances, so the good news is Usyk came out of the fight with Dubois. Some people thought he didn’t look as good as they thought he would, but it was a really good, competitive fight.
“Tyson is going to stay razor-sharp and hopefully is going to be fighting the baddest man on the planet, and they’re going to be going at it. I think, soon after that, it would be appropriate, and the stars should align for timing purposes, that the unification happens very soon.”
When speaking to the same publication, Alex Krassuyk, the promoter of Usyk, reaffirmed his standing that he will always enter any negotiations with ‘optimism’ and has always been ‘cooperative.’