Fury inside the ring before his third fight with Derek Chisora. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
Tyson Fury has just one fight left to make to clear up the heavyweight division, but a summit clash between Fury, the WBC incumbent and former Ring champion, and unified titleholder Oleksandr Usyk will have to wait as Fury contemplates surgery.
Fury (33-0-1, 24 knockouts) revealed Saturday after his 10th-round stoppage win over Derek Chisora that he would need surgery on his right elbow, which could put him out of action for 6-8 weeks — possibly ruling him out for a planned clash with the unbeaten Ukrainian in February or March.
“I’ve got some hand problems and I’ve gotta maybe have some surgery on me elbow. But after that, I’m ready for anybody,” Fury told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel in the post-fight interview.
“I sort of f–ed my hands up tonight on Derek’s big head. He’s solid as a brick.”
Bob Arum, who co-promotes Fury with Frank Warren, told reporter Keith Idec several weeks ago that the plan was to match Fury with Usyk in an undetermined country in the Middle East in late February or early March, and that financial backers wouldn’t be able to host the fight in the Middle East during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which takes place March 22-April 21.
Fury, 34, is no stranger to elbow issues. He had cortisone shots in both elbows and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow after his 11th-round knockout of Deontay Wilder in their third fight in October of 2021. Fury fought more than six months later, stopping Dillian Whyte in six rounds.
“We’ll see when we can be ready for this fight, we’ll see when it can be made,” said Fury.
Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) holds the IBF, WBO and WBA titles after defeating Anthony Joshua in back-to-back fights, and was in attendance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London to watch Fury win his sixth straight fight since a draw with Wilder in their first fight in 2018.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) December 3, 2022
Fury called Usyk into the ring to build up a clash between the two, goading the 35-year-old Usyk with insults and promises to knock him out as Usyk just stared forward emotionless. Another undefeated heavyweight, fellow Briton Joe Joyce, crashed the party and called for a showdown with Fury as well. Fury says a matchup with Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) could be next if a bout with Usyk can’t be made.
“I’m the only one who calls your name out. Everybody else is scared of you. If this little rabbit don’t want it and it can’t be made, lets you and me my brother do Wembley,” said Fury.
Fury told Kriegel that the two fighters present very different challenges to him.
“I think Joe Joyce is the tougher man; Usyk’s got better boxing skills. Joe is a big monster of a man, a strong, big juggernaut, and Usyk is a master boxer,” said Fury.
Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].