WBC heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury was in talks to unify the division belts against WBA, WBO, and IBF titleholder Oleksandr Usyk; unfortunately, that “premium” deal fell apart over money (surprise, surprise) and Usyk will now face mandatory title challenger Daniel Dubois on Aug. 26 in Wroclaw, Poland.
As for Fury, he will move on to welcome former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to the “sweet science” on Oct. 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Not surprisingly, the boxing world was not impressed by the announcement, which pits the world’s top pugilist against an MMA fighter with zero boxing experience.
“The biggest joke ever in boxing!!!” Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, wrote on Twitter. “I am sorry it’s not boxing it’s a circus. Tyson Fury becoming from positive person in boxing to negative joker in circus. The biggest joke on the planet for sure.”
Fury, 34, has been an advocate for mental health over the years and recently flirted with retirement. It would seem the bright lights and big cities that come with major prize fights — along with the zillion-dollar paychecks — were too much to give up.
“Ha ha ha! Don’t hate the player, hate the game,” Fury fired back (via Boxing Scene). “I don’t have a mandatory [challenger]. When I do have a mandatory, it will be dealt with just like every other mandatory I’ve ever had. Until then, keep on hating motherf-----s. And enjoy the little, little, little, tiny bit of money you guys are making. All the big Gs in the house.”
Expect Usyk to be in attendance in Riyadh with a victory over Dubois.