Tyson Fury against Oleksandr Usyk to crown an undisputed champion in the heavyweight division will not take place as early as hoped.
Usyk’s second victory over Anthony Joshua cleared the path for him to face Fury for the opportunity to become the sole champion in the division after doing the same a weight class down at cruiserweight.
With Fury’s voluntary December defence against Derek Chisora done and dusted, both parties immediately entered into negotiations with a date in February targeted. With no promotional or broadcaster disputes and legacy on the line, it seemed that – perhaps against the grain – one of the biggest fights in boxing would be made.
Usyk’s team put further pressure on by claiming that they would fight no later than March 4, 2023. This was due to religious commitments. As Fury’s representatives, Frank Warren and Bob Arum had previously seemed to be going along with this deadline.
Now, Warren, the hall of fame UK promoter, has provided an update to the contrary, telling TalkSPORT that the historic fight will miss both February and early March, and is now being set up for late March or April.
Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk won't take place on March 4th and is instead now being targeted for late March/early April, Frank Warren has revealed. He remains "very confident" the undisputed fight will happen – currently awaiting Middle East site offers this week. [@talkSPORT]
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) January 18, 2023
Many in the sport already assumed that the first 10 weeks of the year was unrealistic for the fight, even despite the lack of obstacles. An announcement that looks like Josh Taylor’s rematch with Jack Catterall for March 4 – co promoted by Arum – then made it relatively clear.
Despite the wait, Warren was still keen to point out that the fight is close to being made and remains ‘very confident’ the deal will get done. An offer from Saudi Arabia is expected to land on desks soon, and, if not, the promoters may look at Wembley Stadium.
The match up remains one of the most important and in demand in boxing, with Fury pitting his WBC title against Usyk’s WBO, IBF and WBA straps – the winner leaving the ring as the division’s first sole champion since Lennox Lewis.