Alexander Krassyuk, the promoter of Oleksandr Usyk, feels it would be totally acceptable for Tyson Fury to be stripped of his WBC heavyweight title.
At the same time, Krassyuk understands that there is no technical basis on which Fury can be forced to give up his title.
Krassyuk spoke about Fury’s championship status on Monday in light of the news that the brash Brit is reportedly nearing a deal to take on former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in a “crossover” exhibition bout in the fall.
Fury was in protracted talks to face Usyk, the unified WBO, WBA, and IBF heavyweight champion from Ukraine, earlier this year but their efforts imploded. They have since gone their own ways, with Usyk scheduled to defend his titles against mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois on Aug. 26 in Poland. Fury has not fought since December, when he stopped Derek Chisora in the 10th round at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“No, I don’t think it (Fury’s belt) should be relinquished,” Krassyuk told SecondsOut. “He can be stripped only for one reason, if he does not comply with WBC rules. But according to my understanding he does [comply]. He fought [British contender Dillian] Whyte for the mandatory and now they have to appoint him a new mandatory because the new mandatory has not been appointed. He’s not actually breaking any rule of the WBC.
“But from a sports point of view—pure boxing, sports—he has to be stripped because he stayed so inactive for so long. And he is like cheating people, announcing fights that don’t take place.”
Fury and Usyk reportedly re-engaged in talks this summer for a fight that would take place in Saudi Arabia as part of a four-person tournament that would also involve former champions Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua in a separate bout. But while there appear to have been inroads in those negotiations, nothing concrete has materialized.
In the meantime, Krassyuk made it clear he believes Fury’s fight with Ngannou is nothing more than what it is billed to be: a spectacle.
“Fight? You call it a fight?” Krassyuk said. “It’s a performance. Exhibition. It’s not a fight. The fight is when you have undisputed, heavyweight undisputed at stake. This is a fight. When you’re fighting Ngannou, you’re earning money, you’re entertaining fans, you’re entertaining public, that’s all you do.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.