Negotiations for Tyson Fury to face Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world will not be allowed to continue past April 1.
Usyk’s latest update was a deadline of his own, turning the tables on Fury who, by all accounts, is used to making the demands.
Whether or not the Brit’s side take his potential opponent’s threats seriously doesn’t matter, as the WBA have taken control now – some might say finally – to impose a strict deadline for contracts to be signed and the fight to be made official.
Should the pair not come to terms by April 1, the sanctioning body will order their champion – Usyk – to fight his mandatory challenger in Daniel Dubois, as confirmed by President, Gilberto Mendoza.
Usyk v. Fury update: @WBABoxing deadline to receive signed bout contracts is April 1st. Otherwise the Dobouis mandatory negotiations will be ordered.
— Gilberto J Mendoza (@GilberticoWBA) March 19, 2023
Dubois is also represented Frank Warren, who has been handling the negotiations for the Fury fight and has been one of the most bullish involved when it comes to the fight happening as planned.
There’s less than six weeks between now and the proposed fight date at Wembley Stadium, and opinions are increasingly swinging towards it being too little time.
Pair that with team Usyk’s latest official update which ended with an apology to fans, and things aren’t looking good for the four-belt clash.
They have made it clear that Dubois is the path they will take should the fight with ‘The Gypsy King’ not materialise, with Usyk’s other mandatories having to wait in line – namely IBF’s Filip Hrgovic and WBO’s Joe Joyce.
Fury last faced a WBC mandatory in April of 2022 when he knocked Dillian Whyte out in the sixth round. He had a voluntary defence against now 21st ranked Derek Chisora in December.
Next in line is either Deontay Wilder or Andy Ruiz Jr, who have been ordered to face one another to determine the order.
The belts are widely expected to fragment should these mandatories start to be called, and the chance of an undisputed champ may fade into the distance.