Oleksandr Usyk has turned the tables on Tyson Fury by setting a deadline of his own in the ongoing negotiations for the undisputed heavyweight championship bout.
Talks began officially in December of 2022, and have proven to be much more difficult than the promoters claimed they would be.
After things almost fell apart recently over a purse split dispute, Fury took to social media to tell Usyk that he was getting 30% of the finances or it was off.
Usyk, to the surprise of many, accepted, and talks continued. Then, there was a dispute about a rematch clause which has reportedly been in the agreed terms since the first draft of the contract.
Despite no public resolution to that, Fury confirmed that he would enter training camp and his UK promoter, Frank Warren, said that the fight was as good as done for April 29 at Wembley Stadium in London.
What followed was a downbeat update from the Ukrainian’s team. Manager Egis Klimas said that his fighter was being mistreated in talks, and said that ‘the deeper we go the more chance to pull out the plug’ followed by an apology to fans.
Usyk has followed that up today, with a message directly to Fury himself.
“The points for agreement were sent to Fury’s side. The deadline is set. The clock is ticking. The ball is on Greedy belly’s side now. We did everything in our power to make it happen.”
— Alexander Usyk (@usykaa) March 18, 2023
Whilst Usyk doesn’t divulge the ‘points for agreement’, it’s clear that his side are battling for changes to be made to reflect his worth as a unified heavyweight champion.
The deadline date isn’t included either, but with April 29 drawing ever closer things certainly won’t be going by next week. Usyk’s team have been clear that if the fight isn’t made on this date, they will move on to his mandatory challenger, Daniel Dubois.
Should the pair fight as promised, the winner will leave the ring the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis. Perhaps the highest accolade available in the sport – unfortunately, there’s an increasingly real possibility fans miss out on it.