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Usyk's May Showdown Hrgovic Ready to Step In if Fury Falters Again

In the much-anticipated heavyweight clash scheduled for May 18, Oleksandr Usyk remains unwavering in his commitment, even if Tyson Fury faces setbacks. The Ukrainian’s camp has assured fans that the bout will proceed, introducing the possibility of undefeated Olympic medallist Filip Hrgovic as a replacement if Fury pulls out for the third time.

Originally slated for December 23, the encounter between Fury and Usyk was rescheduled to February due to unexpected challenges in Fury’s previous bout against UFC star Francis Ngannou. Now, as the rearranged date approaches, Fury’s recent sparring injury—requiring 11 stitches—adds a layer of uncertainty.

Despite the potential hurdle, a third date has been confirmed, with Saudi Arabia hosting the clash for Usyk’s WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight belts, alongside Fury’s WBC title. Usyk’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, emphasizes their commitment to the fight, irrespective of Fury’s participation, naming Hrgovic as the leading candidate for replacement.

“In case he [Fury] withdraws from the fight, a replacement should be foreseen in advance,” Krassyuk stated. “A fight will take place under any circumstances, be it due to an injury or any other reason.”

Notably, Hrgovic, undefeated in 17 professional bouts, is ready to step in, with negotiations already underway. While Usyk’s camp considered having Hrgovic replace Fury in the upcoming fight, the 37-year-old boxer has opted to return home briefly to attend to his newborn daughter before gearing up for the May showdown.

“In my heart, [a deal to face Hrgovic] was already done, and with Oleksandr, it was almost done as well, but it’s up to the Saudis to decide because it’s their show,” Krassyuk explained.

As the boxing world eagerly awaits this clash of titans, the question of who will step into the ring on May 18 remains intriguing. Usyk’s determination and the contingency plan involving Hrgovic add an extra layer of anticipation to what promises to be a historic event.

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