Tony Bellew has made his position clear on the failed talks between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk – he believes the Brit didn’t want it.
The two heavyweight champions were in advanced talks to stage a fight that would crown the first undisputed champion in the division since Lennox Lewis.
Despite fans being promised that there was little in the way of the contest happening, things began to fall apart and, after some resuscitation attempts, failed entirely.
In the aftermath, fans, pundits and both sides have been keen to point the finger as to whose fault it is.
Speaking on The DAZN Boxing Show, Bellew said that the ‘path was clear’ for Fury to face Anthony Joshua following the latter’s win over Jermaine Franklin, believing that Fury next wanted the Usyk fight in the first place.
“The path is clear now for both, because, let’s be totally honest, Tyson Fury doesn’t want to face Oleksandr Usyk.”
The former cruiserweight world champion faced Usyk in his last professional fight, being knocked out eighth round.
Fury is now off the grid to some extent, with his promoter Frank Warren saying he’s abroad and that they haven’t discussed next steps or options. From the one statement he has released, it’s clear he blames Usyk.
The Ukrainian is convinced, like Bellew, that Fury didn’t want to fight, and that his demands and terms were ‘a game.’
As for what’s next for each man without the other, Fury currently doesn’t have mandatory obligations in place from the WBC – a strange move from the sanctioning body considering his last was Dillian Whyte one year ago.
Usyk is intent on keeping the belts in Ukraine, and will begin the rotation of three challengers. First up is Daniel Dubois, also represented by Warren. Talks have started and the teams are targetting an end of summer bout in the UK.