Tyson Fury postpones undisputed heavyweight title clash against Oleksandr Usyk after ‘freak cut’ above eye

Britain’s Tyson Fury has postponed his undisputed heavyweight title fight against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk after sustaining “a freak cut” above his eye during a sparring session, the fight promoters said in a statement.

Since the cut “required urgent medical attention and significant stitching,” the 35-year-old will be unable to face Usyk in the scheduled fight on February 17 in Saudi Arabia as he recovers, Queensberry Promotions added alongside a picture of Fury with a gash above his eye. They did not announce a rescheduled date.

The clash between WBC champion Fury and WBO, WBA and IBF champion Usyk has long been anticipated in the boxing world since the winner would become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

“I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition,” Fury said in a statement, as he apologized to his team, opponent, undercard fighters, hosts and fans.

“I feel bad for everyone involved in this huge event and I will work diligently towards the rescheduled date once the eye has healed.”

Fury suffered a cut above his eye in a sparring session. - Zac Goodwin/PA/AP
Fury suffered a cut above his eye in a sparring session. - Zac Goodwin/PA/AP

The bout had already been rescheduled once from its original December 23 date after Fury required more time to recover from a controversial, tougher than expected fight against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

And reports of a clash between the two had been swirling long before then as speculation mounted in last March that they were close to agreeing terms for a fight in April.

Both fighters boast undefeated records with Fury winning 34 bouts and one draw since turning professional, and Usyk winning all 21 of his fights.

Fury added in an Instagram post that he “can’t help getting injured in sparring,” but that “Usyk was in trouble” and he is “in fantastic shape.”

Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk taunted Fury, commenting on his Instagram post: “Wish you soonest recovery. God sent you a sign. Think of retirement, brother.”

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