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Fury-Usyk fight postponed after Gypsy King suffers cut in sparring

Tyson Fury’s huge unification bout against Oleksandr Usyk has been postponed after the Gypsy King suffered a major cut during a sparring session in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

WBC Heavyweight Champion Fury was due to face Usyk – who holds the WBO, WBA and IBF titles – in Riyadh on February 17.

The winner of that bout would have become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999, however, it will no longer take place on the planned date following a “freak” injury to Fury.

On Friday, Fury’s promotion company Queensberry Promotions released a statement confirming the fight will be pushed back, alongside a picture of the undefeated 35-year-old with a large cut above his right eye.

The statement said Fury’s injury had required “urgent medical attention and significant stitching”, meaning there was no chance of the WBC belt-holder being able to take to the ring in just over two weeks’ time.

Fury said: “I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition.

“I feel bad for everyone involved in this huge event and I will work diligently towards the rescheduled date once the eye has healed.

“I can only apologise to everyone affected including my own team, Team Usyk, the undercard fighters, partners and fans.”

A Queensberry spokesperson said Fury’s injury must be thoroughly evaluated before any decision can be made regarding a new date for the fight.

“Whilst this is still breaking news, it is clearly a massive disappointment after the work that has been done by so many people to finally deliver this historic event to the world,” the spokesperson said.

“Once the doctors have appraised Tyson’s eye, we will have a better idea of the period of recovery needed.

“Once known, we will work diligently with all the stakeholders and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reschedule this fight as soon as possible and will of course keep everyone updated with developments.”

The news will come as a blow for Usyk, who has been frustrated in his efforts to face Fury since first capturing his belts by beating Anthony Joshua by unanimous decision in September 2021, a result he followed up with a split-decision win in a rematch the following year.

Usyk and Fury were locked in negotiations regarding a unification bout for much of 2023, but with no agreement reached until November, the Ukrainian stopped Daniel Dubois in his last bout in August, while Fury narrowly avoided an embarrassing defeat to boxing debutant Francis Ngannou in October.

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