Usyk vs Wilder Could Happen Next If Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk Can’t Agree On A Deal
Britain’s WBC Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) and Ukraine’s unified ruler Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) have been in negotiations for several months to stage a blockbuster undisputed fight.
Talks that seem to date back as early as the middle of last year have become less and less positive in recent months despite having a very optimistic perception after Usyk’s 12-round decision win over Anthony Joshua last August and then once again following Fury’s 10th-round stoppage of Derek Chisora in December.
The biggest purse would be available in Saudi Arabia, which has been a strong front-runner for the fight in the last six months but recently has dropped out of the race. The backup is the UK with April 29 at Wembley Stadium as the targeted date but reports suggest that Fury and Usyk cannot agree on a split.
Should the fight have gone to Saudi, Fury was willing to give Usyk 50-50 as the total purse would be much higher, but with the fight being in the UK, the Brit wants a higher proportion of the payout as he believes he is a much bigger draw. Usyk does have 3 belts and two back-to-back wins over Joshua as well as four UK PPV headliners to his name.
If a fight between Fury and Usyk cannot materialise, Deontay Wilder‘s manager Shelly Finkel has revealed to ID Boxing that he’d like to make a fight with Usyk next. The manager also told Talk Sport “We have three or four different opinions, you know about Ruiz, there’s a couple of others. We’ll see if Usyk fights Fury, if he doesn’t, maybe we’ll (Wilder) have Usyk.”
One of the options is former unified champion Andy Ruiz and Eddie Hearn has told International Boxing News that he would like to make that fight for June 3 in Abu Dhabi.
Wilder and Ruiz were supposed to collide in a WBC final eliminator on a PBC pay-per-view card in the late spring/early summer but ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reported that the PBC couldn’t financially satisfy both fighters. This doesn’t come as a major surprise as multiple outlets have reported that Wilder’s last bout generated only 75k PPV buys in the US whilst Ruiz’s clash against Ortiz did even less at an alleged 65k.
The ‘Bronze Bomber’ has since claimed to 78SPORTSTV that he is an ‘open agent’ and will field offers from different promoters for his next fight. The former champion specifically mentioned the ‘Middle East’ when discussing where his fight with Ruiz could land, in line with what Hearn has stated. Ruiz has since parted ways with the PBC, making them both ‘free agents’.
Finkel confirmed that Wilder has three or four options with Ruiz and Usyk likely in that mix. A 3-belt title shot may be complicated though as both the WBA (Daniel Dubois) and the IBF (Fillip Hrgovic) want to impose mandatory challengers on the P4P #1 and have only held off so an undisputed fight could be negotiated.