Tyson Fury is now set to miss out on a summer fight as talks continue over a December meeting with Oleksandr Usyk.
The 'Gypsy King' has not fought since comfortably stopping Derek Chisora in a trilogy fight in December, but looked set to face Usyk in April before talks collapsed. It was expected that Fury would then return to the ring this July at Wembley Stadium, with Andy Ruiz Jr and Zhilei Zhang both in the running to share the ring with the WBC champion.
However both heavyweights are now considered to be out of the running with the Ruiz Jr fight off due to financial demands, while Zhang will instead be forced to rematch Joe Joyce. And now Fury's promoter Bob Arum has now claimed that Fury could be out of action until later in the year after options dried up.
"They’re waiting now, both fighters, for the end of the year, to fight each other in the Middle East, because that’s where the big money is," Arum told ProBox Tv when asked if Fury still intends to compete in the summer. “Right now I think he’s going to wait [to fight], but with Tyson Fury it depends on how he wakes up in the morning.”
The news comes just days after Fury's rival Usyk claimed that talks over a Saudi Arabia meeting had stalled, which could even put doubt on the pair's involvement in the four-man heavyweight tournament. Fury had made demands on social media in the build-up to their previous planned clash in April, which included the removal of a rematch clause.
Usyk was left unhappy with the new imposed terms and decided to walk away from negotiations, with it instead planned that he fights Daniel Dubois in an ordered WBA mandatory title defence. However Arum's fresh update could see the pair both prevented from fighting until the Saudi Arabia main-event, with reports suggesting it could be staged on the same night as Anthony Joshua's potential meeting with Deontay Wilder.
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Despite hope now being rekindled that Fury will finally step in the ring with his fellow champion, the Ukrainian remained coy as fight talks hit a wall but insisted it will eventually happen. "I can’t say anything about the fight with Tyson Fury yet but at the moment the fight is not planned, since the negotiations, let’s say, are at an impasse," Usyk told Vringe.
"For Fury, boxing is not only a sport, but also a show. And there is another factor - money. He talks about them all the time and voices some incredible amounts that he wants to receive for the fight. I believe that all his loud statements are the intensity of passions. Without it, nowhere.
"So what is he afraid of? He is a professional athlete. And even if he loses, he will take his own. A big man who has very good abilities in boxing and in life but this big man is very afraid of losing."