Frank Warren has claimed talks for Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are still ongoing, but says that he currently doesn’t have ‘the agreement of both boxers.’
The two heavyweight champions – Usyk the WBA, WBO and IBF, Fury the WBC – have been in official talks since December to make the fight that will give the division the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.
The promoter at the heart of it all told TalkSPORT that, whilst he couldn’t give details, negotiations were still occurring – but that he was sure they wouldn’t go past the end of the week given the timeframe set.
“We’re still none the wiser, we’re still waiting for it to be done, it’s all coming to a head now, but it’s still not done. You need the agreement of both boxers to make it happen and at the moment we haven’t got that, so that’s where we’re at.
“We’re working hard to make it happen. And, with the greatest respect, I didn’t ring talkSPORT to do an interview about it, you rang me. So, out of courtesy I’m telling you where we are, but I’m not going to be conducting negotiations at the moment they’re confidential between the two parties.
“But, I would say it’s not going to go past the end of this week that’s for sure because the proposed date is April 29.”
Asked if money was the issue, Warren said:
“I have a pot and out of that pot I can only pay what’s in it and if it’s not enough money the fight won’t happen, at the end of the day we’re running a business.”
He wouldn’t divulge anything further, particular who was holding things up.
Whilst neither side have explicitly said it’s about a purse split, comments to the media throughout the process point to that being the case. Fury’s US promoter, Bob Arum, previously said that if the fight landed in his fighter’s home country then 50/50 wasn’t right.
With Wembley Stadium now the frontrunner – and even tentatively booked for April 29 – team Fury must relay that information to Usyk’s side, who have said a half and half split is fair for a contest between two champions.
If the fight talks break down, mandatories are likely to be called and the division moves a step away from having a sole champion. All fight fans will be disappointed, but many won’t be surprised given boxing’s distinct ability to disappoint.