Tyson Fury’s decision to fight former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou whilst an undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk seemingly remains on the table was not particularly well received by boxing fans.
There is a growing frustration that the historic four belt unification cannot and will not get made, and what feels like a majority of observers blaming Fury.
That is a view held by former unified heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz Jr, who claimed on social media that he believes Fury is ducking the Ukrainian.
“Is Fury ducking Usyk? I think so. Everybody right now wants the easy fights.”
After months of negotiations for a clash between Fury and Usyk in the spring fell through, it was hoped that fresh interest from Saudi Arabia to stage the contest could be enough to get it over the line for this winter.
However, these plans did not materialise and news broke that Fury would be taking on Ngannou on October 28 in Riyadh, though his WBC world title will not be on the line.
Usyk successfully defended his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles against Fury’s countryman Daniel Dubois this past weekend, stopping the young Brit in nine rounds at the Wroclaw Stadium in Poland.
A fifth round low blow has been the biggest talking point from the contest, with many feeling the right hand from Dubois was legal and should have been scored a knockdown.
Usyk was able to take close to five minutes to recover and ultimately regain control of the contest and never looked in any trouble from that point.
There is a hope that Usyk’s showing could be enough to tempt Fury into a fight in the first half of 2024, however this seems a long way away. As of writing, the Ukrainian has another mandatory challenger standing in the way.