Eddie Hearn Casts Doubt on Usyk's Readiness for Fury Showdown
Eddie Hearn, a prominent figure in the world of boxing, has thrown some uncertainty into the mix regarding the eagerly anticipated bout between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury scheduled for December 23rd. According to Hearn, the IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion, Usyk, is dealing with injuries sustained during his title defense against Daniel Dubois in August. Notably, Hearn states that Usyk has yet to commence training for the upcoming bout, which is merely eight weeks away. Despite this, the lure of a significant payday from the Saudis might still motivate Usyk to take the fight, even if he’s not at 100% for the contest.
Hearn believes that Fury is aware of Usyk’s physical readiness, and he anticipates that Fury might use this to his advantage by publicly shaming Usyk if he cannot compete on December 23rd. This strategy could serve to demonstrate to fans that Fury has not been avoiding Usyk, a perception held by many. Notably, some boxing enthusiasts speculate that Fury agreed to the fight primarily because of the substantial financial offer from Saudi Arabia and to avoid appearing cowardly by declining the challenge.
Hearn also raises questions about Fury’s recent opponents, expressing disappointment with the level of competition he has faced since his victory over Deontay Wilder in 2021. The upcoming clash with novice Francis Ngannou is highlighted as part of this concern, as it follows bouts against Francis Ngannou, Dereck Chisora, and Dillian Whyte in the past two years. Hearn suggests that Fury’s ambition has waned, possibly due to the tough third fight with Wilder, where he was knocked down twice and seemed on the verge of defeat before a contentious referee count saved him from his first career loss.
Despite these concerns, the Saudis are offering Fury a substantial purse for the upcoming bout against Ngannou, taking place on October 28th at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Hearn, however, remains skeptical of Usyk’s preparedness for the December 23rd date, emphasizing the potential role of financial incentives in making the fight happen. While Hearn expresses doubt about Usyk’s camp readiness, he believes the fight is likely to occur, driven by the immense financial stakes involved.