Tyson Fury ‘devastated’ as injury derails Oleksandr Usyk fight on two weeks’ notice

Tyson Fury has said he is “devastated” after suffering a cut that has caused the postponement of his fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

Fury and Usyk were due to square off in Saudi Arabia on 17 February, with the winner set to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years.

However, it was announced on Friday (2 February) that Fury had suffered a “freak cut” over his eye while sparring, derailing the historic bout.

“I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition,” said the Briton, 35. “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, as well as our hosts and my friends in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

On Instagram, Fury added: “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 [as] soon as I can. 2024 a massive year for team GK [Gypsy King].”

A statement from Fury’s promoters, Queensberry, read: “WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has been forced to postpone his fight with unified champion Oleksandr Usyk after sustaining a freak cut during a sparring session in Riyadh.

“The cut, which opened above Fury’s right eye, required urgent medical attention and significant stitching, and will obviously require a period of recovery, scuppering any possibility of the fight with Usyk taking place on 17 February in Saudi Arabia.”

The cut that has ruled Fury out of his fight with Usyk (@QueensberryPromotions via Instagram)
The cut that has ruled Fury out of his fight with Usyk (@QueensberryPromotions via Instagram)

A spokesperson for Fury added: “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.”

Fury last fought in October, controversially beating ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou on points in Riyadh. The fight, which marked Ngannou’s boxing debut, was not a WBC title contest.

However, the belt was due to be defended in Riyadh on 17 February, with Usyk putting the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles on the line as well. The winner of the bout would have been crowned the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis lost that status in 2000.

Ukrainian Usyk last fought in August, retaining his titles with a stoppage win against Daniel Dubois. That victory kept the 37-year-old unbeaten, like Fury.