Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will not be fighting, at least not on April 29, as talks have reportedly broken down from both sides, according to a report from Mike Coppinger at ESPN.com.
This does not mean the fight, which would be the first four-belt unification in heavyweight history, won’t happen, and doesn’t even mean it won’t happen this year. But it won’t be coming in a month, which at this point is probably not a real surprise. Any hope that it would have still happened on that date hinged on the fight being made by this past weekend, probably.
Ultimately, the news may not be entirely bad. The April 29 date was being targeted for Wembley Stadium, and if someone in the Middle East — Saudi Arabia, Dubai, or Abu Dhabi — were to sweep in with even bigger money, that might actually make the fight easier to get done.
That’s also not to say this is a good thing. Fury (33-0-1, 24 KO) has the WBC title and there’s really nobody else that fans are clamoring to see him fight. And Usyk (20-0, 13 KO), who has the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles, has said before that he wants Fury or might see himself at the end of the road at age 36. Basically, going undisputed at heavyweight seems to be his only real goal.
In the meantime, we could see interim fights for both.
Fury has talked up the possibility of facing Deontay Wilder for a fourth time, and Wilder just recently said he’s ready to get back into training and figure out his next fight. There was a WBC order for a Wilder vs Andy Ruiz Jr eliminator, but neither of those camps seemed to want to do it, and the WBC could easily rescind that and let Fury vs Wilder 4 happen if that’s what those parties want to do.
Usyk may have to face WBA secondary titlist Daniel Dubois next; that fight was ordered in December, and if Usyk maintains the hope of going undisputed, he really can’t just give up the WBA title, because then, you know, he wouldn’t have the WBA title. Unless he just doesn’t feel like fighting, I doubt he’d have any trepidation about making a fight with Dubois.
The two could also continue to circle and see if any of that Middle East money does come into play, too, but if the WBA really force that order, we may be waiting several more months. Usyk has reportedly shut down his training camp, so he’s not looking to switch gears immediately, either.