Boxing: Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk heavyweight showdown rescheduled, but Usyk manager urges retirement

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk face off at a media conference.
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk face off at a media conference. Photo credit: Getty Images

The postponed world heavyweight title unification fight between Briton Tyson Fury and Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk has been rescheduled for May 19 (NZ time), but Usyk promoter Alex Krassyuk has urged Fury to hang up his gloves.

The bout was originally for February 17, but was postponed, after the WBC champion suffered a cut during sparring.

The 'Ring of Fire' bout was set to unify Fury's belt with Usyk's WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts, crowning the first unified heavyweight boxing champion since 1999.

Fury, 35, won his WBC championship after knocking out American Deontay Wilder in 2020, while Usyk, 37, won his belts after outscoring Britain's Anthony Joshua in 2021. Both boxers are undefeated in their professional careers.

Queensberry Promotions' Frank Warren says Fury was sparring with a Croatian heavyweight, whose elbow caught the Briton over the right eye, opening a cut that needed "significant stitching".

"Can't help getting injured in sparring, but what I can say was Usyk was in trouble," Fury posted on Instagram, with an image that suggested he was in sensational condition.

"I am in fantastic shape."

Krassyuk has responded: "Wish you soonest recover.

"God sent you a sign. Think of retirement, brother."

On his own Instagram site, Krassyuk insists the setback was expected.

"His mentality is stronger than concrete, stronger than iron, stronger than a stone," he said of Usyk. "He's been in boxing for many years, he knows sh*t happens.

"He said it was expected, that's what he said. Now he relies on his team to work on his behalf and work out the good solution, which we are now progressing."

This is the second time Fury has had to delay a meeting with Usyk, after he suffered injuries against former UFC champion Francis Ngannou that forced a postponement from December 24.

Two-time Commonwealth Games champion and Olympic bronze medallist David Nyika was on the event undercard, scheduled to face an unconfirmed opponent.

Saudi organisers Riyadh Season say tickets for the original fight would be refunded.