Fury Could Pull Out Of Usyk Fight Again – ‘I See That Cut Re-Opening’

February 18, 2024
2 months
Fury Could Pull Out Of Usyk Fight Again

Tyson Fury is not guaranteed to fight Oleksandr Usyk on May 18.

That is according to Usyk’s former coach, James Ali Bashir. The Gypsy King pulled out his fight with Usyk, scheduled for February 17. The WBC Heavyweight Champion suffered a cut in sparring over his right eye, which required extensive stitching. Since the news dropped less than a month before they were meant to face off, it frustrated the boxing community.

This was especially true since Fury had already backed out of their first meeting. They were meant to box last year on December 23, 2023. That changed after Fury went the distance with Francis Ngannou. He was knocked down in the third round and suffered from bruising/cuts, as his team made it clear Fury was not ready. And given the nature of his latest injury, Bashir felt Fury may not fight on that date.

Fury Could Pull Out Of Usyk Fight Again
Credit Reuters

Bashir On Fury

“Tyson has a reputation for being a rowdy guy. He spars oft times without any head gear on and a fight of that magnitude you can’t take those kinds of chances. I don’t know whether he had head gear off or not but the place where the cut is it seems so unlikely. Disregard for his profession, disregard for the fans… more than likely it came from him being reckless,” Bashir said

One factor that will pressure Fury is Turki Alalshikh’s response. He made it clear that any further pullouts would result in either fighter facing a $10 million fine. Since Fury is expected to receive a career-high purse, he will want to avoid that. There is also the expectation to silence his critics. Fury knows the career-defining fight will define his legacy.

Boxing has not had an Undisputed Heavyweight Champion since 1999. That was when Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield to win all the belts. Since Usyk has already become undisputed at cruiserweight, there is more pressure on Fury to achieve it. Both fighters are undefeated, meaning one will suffer their first loss. But based on what Bashir has said, the fight may not happen. The Ukrainian’s former trainer claimed Fury’s cut requires extensive healing, which would take longer than the rescheduled date.

Bashir On The Fight

“May, that’s cutting it short, that is hurrying it up. I can see that cut re-opening if they go in May. I would push the fight back to June or July to be sure. I personally as a boxing trainer would push it back. The longer that he takes time for it to heal, the better the cut is going to be but I don’t know about May,” Bashir added

Fury knows his preparation must be on point if he is to beat Usyk. But to do so, he must push himself in his training camp, which carries the risk of aggravating that injury. That balance must be addressed properly, as Usyk will no doubt target the eye come fight night.

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