Tyson Fury has withdrawn from his undisputed world title fight with Oleksandr Usyk after sustaining a cut in training that “required urgent medical attention” and needed “significant stitching”.
It is another monumental blow to a heavyweight division engulfed in chaos, with the fight no longer taking place on 17 February in Saudi Arabia.
That is the second time the bout has been pushed back, with an original date of 23 December falling through amid lengthy delays caused by a dispute over the purse split. Anthony Joshua and Otto Wallin headlined that card instead.
“I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition,” Fury said.
“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.”
In a statement, promoters Queensberry said that the cut was “above Fury’s right eye”.
“It is clearly a massive disappointment, after the work that has been done by so many people to finally deliver this historic boxing event to the world,” a spokesperson said.
“Once the doctors have appraised Tyson’s eye, we will have a better idea of the recovery period needed. Once known we will work diligently with the stakeholders and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reschedule this fight as soon as possible.”
Usyk is the WBA, IBF and WBO world champion, having won those belts from Joshua in 2021 and successfully defended them in the rematch 11 months later before knocking out fellow British heavyweight Daniel Dubois last August.
Fury currently holds the WBC title, which he won during an epic trilogy against Deontay Wilder.
Fury almost suffered a shock defeat to UFC star Francis Ngannou in his last outing and has not defended his title since his December 2022 victory over Derek Chisora at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The postponement will set further alarm bells ringing in a heavyweight scene in which confusion has reigned. With Fury and Joshua’s all-British grudge match having long since fallen through, hopes of crowning an undisputed world champion rested on the “Gypsy King” facing the Ukrainian former cruiserweight.
The announcement also represents a blow to Saudi Arabia’s attempts at building a boxing empire, which has been steadily growing since Joshua’s rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.