Radio host Laura Woods has expressed her outrage at Tyson Fury after his fight with Oleksandr Usyk fell through following a breakdown in negotiations.
The popular media personality has joined most boxing fans in showing her anger at the Fury vs Usyk cancellation, which followed the Ukrainian agreeing to a series of demands from his British rival. Fury had insisted on a 70/30 purse split and no rematch clause, both of which Usyk agreed to, but talks still broke down in recent days.
And Woods has had enough of Fury's negotiation tactics, declaring that it is a "catastrophe" for the sport that he has not agreed to step in the ring with Usyk. The bout would have been the first undisputed heavyweight title fight of the four-belt era, but as with other high-profile matchups of its ilk, it has fallen apart.
“Every time the posts were moved, Usyk agreed to it,” Woods said on her show this morning on TalkSPORT. “Boxing fans in this country deserve better. Fight fans in general deserve better. It’s a catastrophe in terms of PR for the world of boxing at the moment. It doesn’t look good for Fury. I don’t understand it.”
Fury's promoter Frank Warren has, however, claimed that negotiations are not finished just yet. He appeared on talkSPORT with Usyk's promoter Alex Krassyuk this morning, insisting that they are still keen to make the proposed April 29 bout at Wembley Stadium happen.
"No, I’m not confirming it’s off," Warren said. “All I’ve had from [Usyk's team] officially was an email that said, ‘Gentlemen, hope you’re okay, I’m not going into details, start to blame or point the finger to anyone, but we’d like to officially announce that Team Usyk is out of further negotiations regarding the April 29 fight.’ We got that yesterday, that’s the first we heard of it.
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“We got it all out the way except for one issue and that was the rematch. Tyson publicly stated that we should scrap the rematch, this was to simplify the deal. Rematch clauses can be very difficult and Tyson’s been there before when a rematch blocked a fight with him and Anthony Joshua when Deontay Wilder took him to court. That kyboshed that fight with Joshua.
“Anyway, I convinced Tyson to take the rematch [with Usyk] and he did. So I told them on Sunday we’re gonna go with the rematch. Then we got into a situation with how the rematch money is gonna be split and that’s what we’ve been working on. Why can’t it be overcome if he wants the fight? We want the fight, why can’t it be overcome?… There’s no reason for this fight to be off.”