After pushing to fight Oleksandr Usyk on December 23, Tyson Fury’s team has said he will not be ready until next year.
The two heavyweight champions will face off to crown an undisputed champion, with Usyk’s IBF, WBO and WBA belts pitted against Fury’s WBC.
The fight was signed and announced before Fury faced Francis Ngannou in October, and a tougher-than-expected outing saw him go all ten rounds, thus ruling out another bout this year.
Post-fight, Usyk initially pushed for the December date again, but he has now confirmed it will likely be February. There were some whispers that this may affect the position of the sanctioning bodies, particularly the IBF, which has ordered the winner of Fury-Usyk to face mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic.
Speaking to Seconds Out, promoter Frank Warren confirmed that the December 23 date was not stipulated by the IBF, and that the contract signed for all four belts is good for six months.
“The next mandatory fight is Hrgovic for Usyk. The IBF have sanctioned the [undisputed] fight, contracts were lodged. That’s the only reason [we announced the Usyk fight before Ngannou], we weren’t being disrespectful to Ngannou.
We had to lodge the contracts. Once those contracts are lodged, they had to then give them to the other side, which is Hrgovic’s team.”
“It’s got to take place in the next five, six months.”
It’s that mandatory order that will likely see Fury or Usyk only undisputed for a short period of time – a rematch clause means the winner will be stripped of the IBF belt and Hrgovic will fight for it as a vacant title against a top contender.
Fans have been told that they can expect an official announcement as to the date of Fury-Usyk as early as next week.