Usyk Promoter Pushes for Fury Title Stripping, Eyes Hrgovic Clash

By Rob Smith - 02/03/2024 - Comments

Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, wants the WBC to step in and strip injured Tyson Fury of his title so that it can be fought over.

Krassyuk wants the WBC to give Fury the ‘Champion in recess’ label after they strip him, allowing Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) and Filip Hrgovic to fight for the undisputed championship with all four belts being available.

With Fury’s injury, it could be a long, long time before he’s fully healed and ready to resume his career. Usyk is 37, and he can’t afford to wait a year for Fury to be 100% healed from his sparring accident.

Fury’s Sidelined Status

Tyson Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) suffered a cut over his right eye last Friday after his sparring partner accidentally elbowed him during a furious training session.

The 35-year-old Fury’s injury prevents him from facing Usyk on their previously scheduled date of February 17th at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Unfortunately, Fury could be out until late September, and that’s a best-case scenario because he could suffer a setback in training once he gets hit on his eye again.

Krassyuk’s Idea: Strip Fury

Fury will do the right thing in the best possible world and vacate his WBC title so Usyk can fight over. There would be no fuss, and he could always fight for the undisputed championship against the winner of Usyk vs. Hrgovic.

Knowing Fury, he will not give up his WBC title willingly and will be stubborn about it. He likely views his title as a pawn to get a better deal for a fight with Usyk, which may not be valid. This is where the WBC comes in.

They’ve got an injured heavyweight champion, Fury, who may not be fit to fight for six to twelve months. This is a perfect situation for the WBC to label him a ‘Champion in recess,’ which would allow him to battle for his title once he’s fully healed.

Rationale Behind the Demand

Usyk can’t be sitting inactive for ages waiting for the injured WBC champion Fury to heal up, particularly given his age. Oleksandr will be 38 soon, and he can’t afford to wait on Fury. Usyk shouldn’t have to be penalized due to Fury’s misfortune.