During the broadcast for the Jose Pedraza and Richard Commey fight, Mark Kriegel told ESPN in no uncertain terms that an undisputed fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk “is going to happen, but we’re unlikely to see the two in the ring this year.
Speaking live to the ESPN team, the journalist and author spoke without doubt when asked about the fight. He went onto reveal the latest information from his sources, including Fury’s promoter, Bob Arum.
“What’s the source of contention in the lead-up to every big fight? The purse split. Is it 70-30, 60-40? This one is going to be 50-50. I spoke to Bob Arum today. He said that is a given. My other sources agree. So, we have one point of contention completely out of the way, or supposedly. That’s welcome news, proof to me the fight’s going to happen.”
Kriegel then cast doubt on rumours that the fight would be staged in December this year but provided some hope that fans won’t have to wait much longer. The date being targeted is in the midst of one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar.
“Now as to when? You may have seen reports this week that the Saudis want to host it in December. Don’t hold your breath on that. Quote, ‘highly unlikely,’ according to Arum and others I spoke to. Likely date now: February , Super Bowl weekend, or maybe the week after, probably the Middle East, but not necessarily Saudi Arabia. Remember, there’s also Abu Dhabi, could be a player, Qatar could be a player, and still an outside shot that the UK gets it.”
“It will not be in Wembley. Don’t listen to that stuff. It’s winter. You know, you need to protect the fighters from the elements. That would be an 80,000 indoor seat arena in Cardiff, if it’s the UK.”
British fight fans will be disappointed to hear that the UK as a host nation is only an ‘outside shot’, however given the massive financial demands from Fury, it’s hardly a surprise.
As more news breaks and details are revealed, we take small steps closer to seeing the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.