Where there was once confidence, there is now an increasing sense of frustration.
Once upon a time, it seemed like a sure thing that WBC champ Tyson Fury and IBF/WBA/WBO titlist Oleksandr Usyk would meet one another in a 4-belt full heavyweight title unification clash. Despite some financial issues that were made public, everybody felt that, given the characters of the fighters in question, things would get worked out.
Then, Fury responded to a 60-40 revenue split proposal (with the winner getting the larger cut). Via social media video, the Gypsy King came back with a 70-30 split in his favor.
Usyk quickly agreed to that proposal in his own social media video.
Now, Fury has “upped the ante” and wants the rematch clause scrubbed from the fight contract, on top of getting the 70-30 money split.
“I’ve been speaking to the lawyers today and Usyk’s people are talking about rematch clauses and all the b****cks,” Fury said.
“Here’s one to up the ante, how about there is no f***ing rematch clause for both of us, let’s up the ante completely.
“Never worry about what’s in the future and how many dollars you can get after you’ve been defeated.
“Worry about the fight, April 29, no rematch clause, the winner takes the glory, the loser goes home with his d*** in his hand.
“How about that? Agree to that you f***ing b****.’
Team Usyk, however, claims that the rematch clause idea came from Team Fury. Nonetheless, Usyk responded to Fury’s demands once again via video.
“Greedy Belly. Very much, the clause comes from your side, not mine. Stop whining and ducking.
“Be a man. Ink the contract or vacate the belt. I need undisputed– and not to play your stupid games.”
Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk recently told talkSPORT he now believes that Fury simply doesn’t want to fight Usyk. He will continue to stall and toss obstacles in the way of the heavyweight unification.
“As Usyk said, the greedy belly is still hoping to find a way to pull out,” Krassyuk said. “We knew before and know it now.
“As soon as Usyk accepts a no rematch clause there will still be searching for another thing to find and pull out the fight.
“I tell you why. He bluffed and Usyk called his bluff. This is 100 per cent. He didn’t expect Usyk to accept 70/30.
“It’s all about nothing. He’s not prepared and scared to fight. He will try to find a way to avoid Usyk for as long as possible. We don’t trust him, we don’t believe him.
“I don’t believe anyone will fight. Even if you accept this now, he will still try to find a way out.”
Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum, as of last month, still believed that Fury-Usyk would get made and that it would happen the last Saturday of April.
“The Usyk people, I know his manager Egis Klimas,” Arum told iD Boxing. “We have a lot of fighters that he manages that we promote. Terrific guy, very sensible. We can come to an understanding with him and Tyson. So, I’m not going to talk about percentages or statements because, once you start negotiating in the press, it all falls apart, because, then, the ego of people come to the fore and that trumps common sense. Let it [negotiations] be behind the scenes. I’m sure we’ll put it together and hopefully have an announcement shortly. I am very optimistic because of who we’re dealing with and the kind of caliber of people they are that we’ll be able to put this fight to bed.”
“I don’t even want to talk about other possibilities,” Arum insisted, “because I’m so optimistic that Fury and Usyk will happen and will happen the last Saturday in April.”
The clock is ticking on the proposed April 29 date. And Fury seems to be the one perpetually hitting the snooze alarm.