HomeSportsBoxingTyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk undisputed heavyweight title fight off after Briton...

Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk undisputed heavyweight title fight off after Briton sustains cut

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Tyson Fury’s undisputed heavyweight title fight against Oleksandr Usyk has been postponed after the Briton sustained a “freak” cut in training.

Fury, 35, was cut in sparring at his training camp in Saudi Arabia on Friday in preparation for the bout on 17 February in Riyadh.

The injury above Fury’s right eye needed “urgent medical attention” and “significant stitching”.

In a statement, the Briton said he was “absolutely devastated”.

Fury is the WBC champion with Ukraine’s Usyk, 37, holding the WBA, WBO and IBF belts.

If the fight does take place at a later date, the winner will be crowned the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era.

Fury said he had been preparing to face Usyk “for so long” and was in “superb condition”.

“I feel bad for everyone involved in this huge event and I will work diligently towards the rescheduled date once the eye is healed,” he added.

In a later Instagram post he wrote: “Can’t help getting injured in sparring but what I can say was Usyk was in trouble. I am in fantastic shape. I will reschedule soon as I can. 2024 a massive year for team GK.”

Promoters Queensberry Promotions said once doctors have assessed the cut they will have a “better idea of the recovery period needed”.

Picture of Tyson Fury's eye injury
Image caption: An official statement confirming the fight had been postponed included an image of Fury’s cut

The fight was originally scheduled for 23 December but Fury’s controversial decision win over former UFC fighter Francis Ngannou in October scuppered those plans.

Morecambe-born Fury has won 34 fights with one draw since turning professional in 2008.

He had previously faced criticism for failing to reach terms with Usyk after a proposed bout at London’s Wembley Stadium in April fell through.

Saudi Arabia has ploughed millions of dollars into staging huge sporting events, with critics saying the unprecedented spending is being used to enhance the oil-producing kingdom’s international reputation and deflect from its human rights record and environmental impact.

However, in a recent interview with the BBC, Saudi Arabia’s sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal said claims of ‘sportswashing’ were “very shallow”, insisting the investment is boosting the country’s economy, opening it up to tourism and inspiring people to be more active.

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