The much-anticipated undisputed heavyweight title between WBC champion, Tyson Fury and WBO, WBA, and IBF champion, Oleksandr Usyk has been postponed from February 17 to May 18. The original date was abandoned after Fury sustained an injury in training. The rescheduled bout in Saudi Arabia will determine the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era.
Usyk expressed his readiness to fight for undisputed anytime, anywhere, wishing Fury a speedy recovery. Upon the news of Fury’s injury, Usyk had considered a replacement fighter, determined not to let the February 17 slot go to waste. But a quick rescheduling of dates easily doused that plan.
Egis Kilmas, Usyk’s manager, commented on Fury’s injury, asking a few questions, which Fury took offence to and accused Kilmas of calling him a coward, saying he would never back down from any man in his life.
Event organizer Turki Alalashikh emphasized the stakes involved, stating that withdrawal from the new date would result in a £9.3 million forfeiture to the other fighter. The bout carries historical significance, as there has not been an undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.
News of the postponement does not come as a surprise, given what we’ve witnessed these past few years. You can tell because, for an important fight that was supposed to happen in less than two weeks, there was hardly any hype or excitement from fans. Before Usyk, the undisputed fight between Fury and former champion Anthony Joshua was postponed a few times, and this is the third time the fight will be postponed with Usyk on the bill.
But we can hope that this is the last time the undisputed clash will ever be postponed, and the heavyweight will get a true undisputed champion, unifying the titles in the division.