Alex Krassyuk has revealed that Tyson Fury ‘changed his mind’ at the last minute after negotiations to fight Oleksandr Usyk.
The promoter behind K2 is in Saudi Arabia ahead of his charge’s rematch showdown against Anthony Joshua.
Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) is defending the WBA Super, IBF, IBO and WBO titles in the sport’s premier division at the Jeddah Superdome on Saturday night, while Britain’s Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) is looking to win back the titles he lost last September and become a three-time unified champion.
Tyson Fury is the WBC champion at heavyweight and holds the only bit of real estate that Usyk doesn’t, meaning that a fight between the pair would have to happen for the undisputed crown to be at stake.
And Krassyuk told Boxing Social that the fight was nearly there before Fury pulled out.
“Some circumstances tried to lead us away from this fight, like Tyson Fury vs. Usyk which was not just talks. We were in negotiations in something like December last year and it was very active.
“Tyson had Dillian Whyte as the mandatory, Usyk had the rematch clause, the commitment to fight ‘AJ’. Whyte and ‘AJ’ both gave their consent to let this fight go, but unfortunately, at the final moment, Tyson changed his mind and accepted the mandatory.
“We said okay and agreed that we would go with our commitment. We had to comply with our obligations in front of ‘AJ’, but suddenly the war started.”
Fury recently relinquished the Ring Magazine title that will be on the line in a vacant capacity in the rematch. He was last seen in the ring in April, at London’s Wembley Stadium, when he stopped the number one-ranked contender Dillian Whyte inside six rounds.
Usyk initially signed up to join his local territorial defence force in Kyiv, after his home country came under attack from Russia, before ultimately being persuaded to leave and train for the AJ rematch. It remains ongoing with a great number of Usyk’s compatriots enduring awful suffering as a result.
“It was unexpected to anyone who has any common reason in their mind that a war [would start] in the centre of Europe in the 21st with the country that was the trade partner, economic partner and the neighbour for many years.
“The fact is that the Russian federation military invaded the territory of the independent state of Ukraine and the war started.”