Home Boxing News Eddie Hearn offers hot take on Tyson Fury’s withdrawal from Oleksandr Usyk...

Eddie Hearn offers hot take on Tyson Fury’s withdrawal from Oleksandr Usyk fight

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Eddie Hearn is as disappointed as anyone that the fight between WBC heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) and WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) scheduled for Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 17 has been cancelled.

Britain’s Fury, 35, suffered a deep cut over his right eye in sparring on Friday morning and was forced to withdraw from the bout.

Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn got word of the situation a little earlier than most as he had two of his boxers slated to appear on the show.

“I’m gutted. I got the news literally when I woke up this morning. For us, we had Jai Opetaia, we had Joe Cordina on the card, so your immediate thoughts are with them,” Hearn said in an interview posted to the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel.

“Then you think about Tyson Fury, Usyk, the boxing world, His Excellency [Turki Alalshikh], Goldstar, Queensberry, everyone puts a lot of effort and time into this.

“As I understand it, there’s a lot of talks going on right now. I’ve been there before, it’s a horrible situation to be in.

“Hopefully Tyson Fury can heal and get back in the fight ASAP. Will there be a show on February the 17th? Well, I guess that’s down to His Excellency. But it’s an unfortunate part of boxing and hopefully we still get to see that fight.

“I think that when that happens – and I’ve had it happen many times before – I think the best thing to do is to take yourself into a room, have a little cry, wonder why on Earth you work in the sport of boxing, and then go ‘let’s come up with a plan’.

“I know His Excellency will probably double down. Let’s still do a show, let’s get [Dmitry] Bivol vs [Artur] Beterbiev signed, let’s get the date locked in. But it all depends really when Tyson Fury will be ready. If he’s going to be ready April or May, I’m not sure they will do an interim fight. If it’s going to be June-July, maybe they do. So for me, I’d love for there to still be a show on Feb 17th because we’ve got fighters on the card as well.

“But it will be over to them and they’ll probably need 24 hours just to reset and make the right decision.”

In a separate interview with iFL TV, Hearn scoffed at suggestions Fury’s injury was self-inflicted to avoid a fight with Usyk.

“I’ve had in my group chats with my mates, ‘Oh, this sounds fishy to me!’ I’m like, ‘Guys, you think he’s going to carve himself open with a knife?’,” Hearn said.

“He’s trained a whole camp, he’s two weeks away from a monster pay day and a fight against the undisputed champion.

“It’s not hooky, it’s just boxing, it happens. But it’s devastating when it’s a fight of that magnitude.”

As of right now, early discussions are underway for Usyk to face IBF mandatory contender Filip ‘El Animal’ Hrgovic 17-0 (14) on February 17. There is no word as to whether the undefeated 31-year Croatian has been in camp and will be fully fit is he lands the assignment, but Hearn says you can’t blame him for being keen.

“It’s late notice, but money can do strange things,” Hearn said.