Updated:Mar 23, 2023 6:11 pm
Following a lengthy period of back-and-forth negotiations, promoters Alex Krassyuk and Frank Warren confirmed that the April 29 fight will not occur due to a dispute over the rematch clause.
Despite Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk both announcing that they had entered training camps for the long-awaited undisputed face-off at Wembley Stadium on April 29, negotiations between both parties have now collapsed.
All significant issues seemed to have been ironed out after Usyk accepted Fury’s demands of a 70/30 split, leaving boxing fans drooling over the prospect of a heavyweight showdown where all the belts are on the line.
However, a struggle to agree on terms over a rematch clause altered the course of the negotiations, with Fury’s promoter Frank Warren declaring that the fight is now off, indicating that Usyk’s team were looking “for a way to get out.”
“They said the fight must take place before 29 April and if it goes later they want different splits,” said Warren.
“The reason they did that was they didn’t think Tyson would be ready for the 29th and suddenly Tyson was ready for it.
“He has been in training camp for two and a half weeks, got trainers in from America and they looked for a way to get out.”
After stopping Derek Chisora back in December to retain his WBC heavyweight championship, Fury suggested that negotiations with Usyk’s team would be smooth and that there would be no issues in making the first undisputed heavyweight championship fight since 1999.Embed from Getty Images
Oleksandr Usyk went face-to-face with Tyson Fury for the first time after Fury was victorious in his trilogy fight against Derek Chisora.
Months went by without any real progress over the undisputed bout until Fury broke the silence on the 10th of March, releasing a video demanding that Usyk accept a 70/30 split in his favour.
Usyk promptly responded to Fury’s demands, accepting the 70/30 split, and informing the WBA that terms had been reached between the two parties.
However, Tyson Fury did not want to agree to a rematch clause, causing an emergency conference call between the two teams on Sunday morning to iron out the issues.
After supposedly convincing Fury to agree to a rematch, Frank Warren admitted that “six or seven” of the key agreement issues were agreed upon and that they were preparing to make an official announcement.
Although once again, unbeknownst to Frank Warren, Alex Krassyuk told talkSPORT that “the fight is called off. The reason for that is it went too far.
“There was a feeling that after Usyk accepted 70-30, Tyson Fury started thinking that he could put a tether around his neck and start riding Usyk as much as he can,” said Krassyuk.
“It’s not right. I mean, Usyk accepted the 70–30 split as a courtesy; he was so loyal, and he was so willing to make this fight happen.
“But the fight isn’t about Tyson Fury; the fight is about the WBC belt that is pending in his collection.”
According to Usyk’s team, they were willing to fight at Fury’s “greedy” 70/30 purse split but asked for the rematch to have a 70/30 purse split for the undisputed champion.
Usyk has been pushing for the same rematch clause that was inserted into the contract against Anthony Joshua, where Usyk defended the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO belts.
Although, according to Warren, Tyson Fury is looking to avoid a rematch clause that could tie him up and prevent him from fighting in other bouts in the near future, after Deontay Wilder took them to court in order to secure the third fight.
The WBC president, Mauricio Sulaiman, also could not guarantee the endorsement of an immediate rematch, contacting Fury’s team on Wednesday.
A former opponent of Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua, reacted to the news of the breakdown in negotiations by labelling the situation “crazy” and suggesting that Fury’s continuous demands were the reason for the fight not happening.
This is not the first time that Fury has had drawn-out negotiations, with Anthony Joshua himself being involved in a contract negotiation late last year with Tyson before not meeting the deadline that Fury gave him via social media.
Regardless of where the blame lies, boxing fans are the ones who have lost out here, as the wait for a king of the heavyweight division seems destined to continue onwards from when Lennox Lewis unified the division 22 years ago.