Oleksandr Usyk could still fight in Saudi Arabia on February 17 despite his showdown with Tyson Fury being shelved, his promoter has confirmed.
This month’s proposed undisputed world heavyweight fight between Usyk and Fury in Riyadh was postponed on Friday after the British boxer suffered a “freak cut” above his right eye in sparring.
It was the latest twist in a long-awaited saga to have all the belts on the line in boxing’s blue-ribbon division, but Usyk could still ensure the card goes ahead.
Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk confirmed on Saturday morning during an Instagram live that he is working on finding the Ukrainian a new opponent, with Filip Hrgovic being lined up due to the Croatian boxer being the mandatory challenger for Usyk’s IBF belt.
“Will Usyk be fighting on the 17th? We are working on that and in the next couple of days a final decision will be taken,” Krassyuk said.
“There is only one option because the IBF has sanctioned the undisputed fight on the condition that after this fight the champion has to fight the mandatory, which is Hrgovic. That means if the champion fights someone else, he will be stripped of his belt by the IBF.
“With Hrgovic, there is a slight chance.”
Fury apologised on Friday night after confirmation that his highly anticipated bout for all four major world heavyweight titles with Usyk had to be postponed.
The facial cut suffered by the ‘Gypsy King’ required medical attention and “significant stitching”, which rules out the possibility of a new date being quickly found.
Krassyuk added: “If we speak about undisputed, it is still a question whether it will happen some day at all?
“We have tried so many times to make it and the more people doubt it will ever take place.
“Let’s hope, let’s pray. Of course we wish Tyson a soonest recovery and hopefully next time nothing will stop him taking punishment from Usyk.”