Before his Francis Ngannou fight, Tyson Fury said Oleksandr Usyk must face him on December 23 or he would be sued.
Since being dropped in the third round of the crossover contest, as well as picking up a small cut on his forehead, it’s Fury’s team that have ruled the undisputed fight out for this year.
Former super-middleweight champion, George Groves, said on The Verdict that everyone involved knew it wasn’t going ahead as planned.
“No. It’s not happening. Usyk was probably the only fighter in the crowd who wasn’t paid to be there, he was there to promote the next fight. He gets in the ring after and he doesn’t really set upon [him.] Tyson doesn’t call him names. He just says ‘I’ll see you December 23rd? No, I’m going to bed.’ He knows that’s fight is not happening December 23rd.”
Groves said that the lack of a post-fight press conference – an extraordinary decision for an event that milked every available opportunity for content and news – was a sign that Fury himself had ruled it out.
“Ngannou or Fury didn’t do a post-fight press conference, and one hint would be the reason Fury didn’t is because he knows that then they’re gonna ask him about Usyk and they want to do a big Gala announcement in London in a couple weeks.”
“The truth is, I think, Fury knows that ain’t happening. He doesn’t want to have to swerve that question as well as he doesn’t want to face the heat of how come everyone online is saying you’ve just robbed an MMA fighter in a boxing match.”
Finally, Groves said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Fury, one fight away from becoming the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis over two decades ago, calls it quits.
“I don’t think it’s happening, and I’m not sure… I think that might just be the last time we see Tyson Fury. And thats not a dig at him – he’s had a fantastic magical career, and maybe he’s just earned enough, achieved enough so the desire’s not there anymore and he thinks ‘I don’t need to roll the dice against Usyk.’ Cause I think it’ll hurt him much more getting beat by Usyk than being tarnished for not fighting him. There’s always gonna be someone.”
Fury is yet to reveal any solid plans, saying post-fight that he wanted a ‘long rest’ before doing anything else in the sport.