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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Matt Verri

Tyson Fury ‘not very optimistic’ over Oleksandr Usyk showdown in Saudi Arabia as Andy Ruiz Jr plans end

Tyson Fury insisted he will not be “optimistic” that a fight with Oleksandr Usyk will take place until the pair finally meet in the ring.

An undisputed heavyweight showdown was expected to take place at Wembley Stadium at the end of April, after Usyk agreed to take 30% of the split following a succession of public demands from Fury on social media. While those had all seemingly been met, talks then broke down over the terms for a proposed rematch.

Usyk appears likely to fight Daniel Dubois next, after the WBA ordered the bout, but there is a suggestion that the blockbuster clash with Fury could still take place this year, with Saudi Arabia pushing to reach a deal for a date in December.

It would also likely involve Anthony Joshua taking on Deontay Wilder on the same night, should the massive pay day be agreed with all four fighters, with the two winners then going on to fight each other in 2024.

Whether that monumental night of heavyweight boxing takes place remains to be seen, with Fury not particularly confident when asked for an update on the situation.

“I hear all these names being chucked around but I don’t pay any heed to them until I’m actually in the ring with them,” Fury said.

“As we’ve seen over the last 14 years, you can be linked to fight somebody and it never happens. I’m not very optimistic about any of the names until I’m actually in with them.”

On whether he will be in action in July as rumoured, he added: “One thing I can say is, if they’re going to do something then they better get their finger out. Time is ticking. They better hurry up, we’re in May now.”

Fury is still expected to fight this summer, most likely in the UK, though promoter Frank Warren has admitted that finding an opponent is proving to be a struggle as time runs out.

Warren confirmed that the reported bout against Andy Ruiz Jr will now not take place, due to the Mexican’s financial demands, while Zhilei Zhang also off the table as a potential opponent after Joe Joyce activated his rematch clause and Dubois has his focus on a shot at Usyk’s world title.

“I want to get him [Fury] out whatever happens and get back in the swing of things. It’s just a bloody shame we wasted so much time [on the Usyk fight],” Warren told Boxing News.

“The problem we’ve got is the ones we wanted are all fighting. The Zhang fight, Joe Joyce, I wouldn’t have gone with Joe next, he’ll have to get a win first and obviously Daniel. We’ll have a look around and see what’s available.”

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