Frank Warren is optimistic that one of the biggest fights on the horizon, the undisputed heavyweight championship between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, can become a reality.
The prime question, according to the Queensberry Promotions head, is figuring out when and where the bout will take place.
Talk of a full unification fight between WBO, WBA, and IBF champion Usyk of Ukraine and WBC titlist Fury of England ramped up after Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua by split decision in their highly anticipated rematch last Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Usyk immediately called out Fury after the fight and Fury, in turn, indicated on his social media that he is chomping at the bit to fight the Ukrainian.
Warren, who is Fury’s British promoter (Bob Arum of Top Rank promotes Fury in the United States), echoed Fury’s optimism in a recent interview. Warren stated that Usyk’s free agency—he is no longer tied with Matchroom Boxing—and his desire to face Fury are a huge aid in getting the fight over the line, even if serious discussions between the parties have not necessarily taken place at this time.
Warren pointed out that resolving where to stage the fight is the most salient matter, adding that the United Kingdom would not be an option this year because London’s Wembley Stadium, the 90,000-seat venue where Warren believes the fight needs to take place to maximize value, would not be available until the following spring. Warren made it clear that the host country and venue would need to “dig deep” to host the fight.
“It doesn’t get any better,” Warren said of Usyk-Fury in an interview with iFL TV. “This is a blue-ribbon event … world boxing heavyweight championship for the four belts to find out who’s the best heavyweight on the planet. These things happen very, very rarely. And if a country or somebody wants to host this event, they’re gonna have to dig deep.
“We can’t get the fight over here (in the UK) until next spring at the earliest, because if it were to go on over here it would have to be at Wembley. And we want to get it away before the end of the year … there have been interests from various places and we’ll go where the money is.”
Warren said staging the fight at, say, Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, where the capacity is more than 70,000, is not an option.
“No, because we can’t generate the income that is needed for what these guys want [in Cardiff],” Warren said.
“There aren’t any politics or TV in the way of this,” Warren added. “It’s a much easier fight [to make]. The only thing that is going to be an issue is where we generate the most money from.”
Warren said preliminary conversations have been had between Arum and Egis Klimas, Usyk’s manager, and between Warren’s son, Francis, and Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk.
“My son has spoken to Alex, and I know Bob has spoken to Egis,” Warren said.