The world heavyweight unification fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has been postponed after the British boxer sustained a “freak cut” during a sparring session in Riyadh.
The eagerly anticipated blockbuster fight was set to take place on 17 February in Saudi Arabia but has now been put on hold until a date yet to be determined.
Queensberry promotions posted a picture of Fury showing what appears to be a large cut above his right eye that required “urgent medical attention and significant stitching, and will obviously require a period of recovery, scuppering any possibility of the fight with Usyk taking place”.
A spokesperson for the promoter said: “It is clearly a massive disappointment, after the work that has been done by so many people to finally deliver this historic event to the world. Once the doctors have appraised Tyson’s eye we will have a better idea of the period of recovery needed.
“Once known we will work diligently with all the stakeholders and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reschedule this fight as soon as possible and will of course keep everyone updated with developments.”
Fury said: “I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition. I feel bad for everyone involved in this huge event and I will work diligently towards the rescheduled date once the eye has healed.
“I can only apologise to everyone affected including my own team, Team Usyk, the undercard fighters, partners, and fans as well as our hosts and my friends in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Fury was entering the fight with Ukrainian Usyk – that had been billed as ‘Ring of Fire’ – on the back of October’s fraught split-decision victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who was making his boxing debut.