Top Rank boss Bob Arum believes an undisputed heavyweight championship fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk is imminent.
The potential pitting of the WBC champion Fury and WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO titlist Usyk has been snakebitten with drawn-out and failed negotiations over the last year, but Arum remains optimistic that the clash will eventually materialize.
“It won’t be hard to make. I think he [Usyk] wants that fight. I think that fight is going to happen, and hopefully, it will happen sooner rather than later,” Arum told Sky Sports. “Probably be early next year, but it could happen as early as December. I would like to see [Fury] fight Usyk. I think once he fights Usyk, and assuming he beats Usyk, then I think he’ll do a victory lap, maybe two more fights, and let the younger guys take over.”
Earlier this month, Fury warned Usyk that the Ukrainian needs to be reasonable with his purse request while adding that unifying the division doesn’t mean sh!t to him and that he’s looking for the biggest paydays possible.
Usyk’s camp has maintained that if a Fury fight proves to be problematic, they’ll shift their focus on IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic.
The 35-year-old Fury (33-0, 24 KOs) is scheduled to face MMA star Francis Ngannou in a boxing match on Oct. 28.
The 36-year-old Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) dismantled Daniel Dubois inside nine rounds in August.
Fury, however, was not fond of Usyk’s performance, claiming that Usyk lost to Dubois and that Usyk quit after the beltline shot that was ruled a low blow dropped him.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.