Fury’s Sparring Partner, Agron Smakici, Set to Face Joseph Parker After Preventing Usyk Fight

February 24, 2024
2 months
Fury's Sparring Partner, Agron Smakici, Set to Face Joseph Parker After Preventing Usyk Fight

Agron Smakici, the man who cut Tyson Fury in sparring, which prevented the Oleksandr Usyk fight from happening on February 17, will spar with Joseph Parker

The cut meant Fury withdrew from the Usyk fight for the second time. It was initially set to go ahead on December 23, 2023. The first pull out came after Fury faced Francis Ngannou, who was making his boxing debut. The fight went more challenging than expected. Fury hit the canvas in the third round after Ngannou connected with a devastating left hook. 

Although Fury got up, he was expected to stop Ngannou. Nevertheless, he won a split decision as he took some time off to prepare for the Uysk bout. But the latest injury means that the fight will go ahead on May 18. Fury’s sparring partner is now in camp to take on Joseph Parker. Parker faces Zhilei Zhang on March 8 on the Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou undercard. The heavyweight felt Smakici was the perfect sparring partner. He was facing Zhang, who is also a tall heavyweight like Fury. 

Parker Reacts

“We spoke to Spencer Brown [Fury’s manager] and we spoke to Tyson and they said these guys gave them the best work – Moses Itauma and Agron. And even though Agron gave Tyson the cut before the fight, he was still giving him good work. So we thought we’re gonna keep them out here, bring them in, and carry on the good work that they’ve been giving Tyson and instead give it to me. Since we’ve been out here, they’ve been giving us this work,” Parker said 

Parker will want to avoid the same fate as Fury, given that he is arguably in the best form of his life. He put on a dominant performance against Deontay Wilder in his last fight on the Day of Reckoning boxing card. Wilder only won a single round across all three judges’ scorecards, giving Parker a decisive win. That prevented Wilder from facing Anthony Joshua, as Parker secured the Zhang bout. 

Parker knows if he beats the Chinese heavyweight, he is in a position to become mandatory for the winner of Fury vs Usyk. Zhang is the WBO Heavyweight Interim Champion, a belt he acquired after stopping Joe Joyce in consecutive fights. Although the IBF mandatory will be called first, Parker can put himself in a position to fight for undisputed.

Parker On Fury

That all depends on the Fury-Usyk fight going ahead. Turki AlalShikh responded to Fury’s withdrawal by making either fighter pay a $10 million fine if they pulled out. That created the narrative that Fury was looking for a way to avoid Usyk since there were concerns he was different from the fighter who beat Wilder two times. But Parker, who has sparred Fury, has rejected those claims. 

“Everyone has an opinion, and everyone has a theory as to how it happened or why it happened, but these things happen in boxing. It was a freak accident. I think it was the last sparring session and he caught him with an elbow or a punch, whatever it was, and these things happen. It’s great to see that the fight’s been rescheduled. It’s gonna happen, but it’s just gonna take a bit of time,” Parker added

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