BBC snubbed over Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk as fans face UK radio blackout

Tyson Fury
UK fans will not be able to listen on the radio as Tyson Fury attempts to unify the world heavyweight belts - Getty Images/Fayez Nureldine

The BBC has been snubbed in its efforts to land the Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk clash for Radio 5 Live as fans are instead forced to fork out £25 for pay-per-view.

A failure to strike an agreement for the corporation’s popular boxing commentary team leaves the biggest heavyweight fight in 25 years without any UK radio coverage at all.

“Unfortunately we have not been able to secure audio rights to this fight,” the corporation said as it emerged talks had stalled with deal-makers in Saudi Arabia.

With no live coverage on the radio, those wishing to hear live round-by-round commentary will be forced to pay a £24.99 one-off fee via DAZN PPV, Sky Sports Box Office or TNT Sports Box Office.

The alternative radio option would have been TalkSport, but the station is said to have a difficult relationship with Fury.

The report in The Times also claims Saudi promoters have taken issue with the commercial station raising questions over Saudi Arabia as a boxing venue.

Deals to agree radio coverage for major fights are often decided at the 11th hour and there was confidence among insiders that an agreement was in sight when the BBC flew out this week. However, the deal fell through on Wednesday.

The Fury-Usyk showdown is the first time that two heavyweights have fought for the unified title since Lennox Lewis secured such status by beating Evander Holyfield 25 years ago.

The build-up to the fight has brought controversy, however, with Fury’s father John left bleeding from his forehead after he butted a member of the Usyk camp.

Security staff had to intervene as the ugly scenes unfolded at the hotel where media events were being launched for fight week, which will culminate in a contest for a reported £116 million purse.