Notebook: More Fury-Usyk contract drama, now over rematch clause
Date for Harper-Braekhus; Fundora preps for Mendoza; 'ShoBox' card on April 7; Jared Anderson plans; Quick hits; Show and tell
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Did anyone really think it would be easy to finalize a Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk undisputed heavyweight championship fight even after they very publicly agreed to the purse split on Friday?
Well, it’s was never going to be that easy with the latest issue related to the rematch clause.
After being hung up on the purse split — Usyk insisted on 50-50 and then 60-40 with the lion’s share going to the winner — Fury offered Usyk the short end of a take-it-or-leave-it 70-30 split in a social media video on Friday.
Usyk quickly accepted in his own video with the stipulation that Fury agree to donate $1 million to assist humanitarian efforts in war-torn Ukraine, Usyk’s home country. Usyk promoter Alex Krassyuk later clarified that accepting those terms was only if the fight takes place on April 29 at Wembley Stadium in London, which has been the scenario both sides long ago agreed on.
Once the split was agreed to, Fury co-promoter Frank Warren and Krassyuk notified the WBA that they had come to an agreement ahead of the organization’s deadline of 5 p.m. ET on Friday for there to be a deal.
If there wasn’t one, the WBA said it would order Usyk to next make his mandatory defense against Daniel Dubois, which would have meant that even if Fury-Usyk was finalized, Usyk would have been stripped of the WBA title. That would have meant that even if the fight took place it would not have been with all four titles at stake and it would not crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis’ rematch win over Evander Holyfield to unify all the titles during the three-belt era in 1999.
But just when the biggest hurdle — the purse split — had been overcome, England’s Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs), 34, threw a new wrench into the proceedings on Monday in another social media video calling into question a two-way rematch clause that had apparently been agreed to, meaning whoever loses would have the right to a rematch.