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WBC boss confident Fury-Usyk fight could happen soon

With speculation mounting that Tyson Fury could reverse his retirement to face Oleksandr Usyk, Mauricio Sulaiman would welcome the bout.

Fury and Usyk

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman would welcome a unification bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk and believes such a fight could even take place before the end of the year.

Usyk produced a near-perfect display to record a split-decision victory over Anthony Joshua in Jeddah on Saturday, retaining the WBA, IBF and WBO belts he took from the Briton in London last year.

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Oleksandr Usyk celebrates winning the fight against Anthony Joshua
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Oleksandr Usyk celebrates winning the fight against Anthony JoshuaANDREW COULDRIDGEAction Images via Reuters

Having retained his undefeated professional record with a 20th victory in as many fights, Usyk declared his intention to fight Fury, saying: “I’m sure Tyson Fury isn’t retired yet. I’m sure he wants to fight me. I want to fight him. If I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.”

Fury has repeatedly flip-flopped on his boxing future, calling out Derek Chisora earlier this month before ruling out a return to the ring just three days later.

In the aftermath of Usyk’s win over Joshua, however, Fury told his Instagram followers he would “annihilate” both fighters before declaring that the “Gypsy King is here to stay forever”.

Sulaiman is excited by the prospect of Fury, who is unbeaten in 33 professional bouts, returning to face the Ukrainian.

“Tyson Fury is a unique man, his personality, his thinking is unique so I respect that, I respect him,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

“He has been so loyal to the WBC, he has been so representative and proud of the WBC. I just hope that he makes the right decision, whichever it is.

“If he decides to hang up the gloves and retire, what a great way to do it, with money, with health, with his beautiful family.

 Tyson Fury
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“But if he has that hunger of going into the ring, which I believe is the case, it would be great to see him represent the WBC in a fight with Usyk or other championship fights he could have in the near future.”

Fury with Friday deadline

Sulaiman also revealed Fury has until Friday to confirm whether he intends to vacate the WBC heavyweight title after his latest retirement claims, and stated his belief fans may not have to wait long to see the two champions in action.

“Tyson Fury is the WBC champion of the world, he’s not holding the ‘other belt’, he’s holding the WBC championship, which is the championship of Muhammed Ali, George Foreman, [Joe] Frazier, [Mike] Tyson, Lennox Lewis etc,” Sulaiman said.

“I’m very proud of Tyson Fury, he’s a tremendous fighter and I am sure he wishes to continue boxing and a fight to unify all the championships in the division would be tremendous.”

Sulaiman said Fury was free to make his own choice, adding: “But my personal opinion is that boxing is going through a great stage, a great moment, it will be great to see Fury against Usyk in the ultimate unification of the division.

Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine
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Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine STREFE

“We are in August, there is still time to finalise and close up the year, or early next year.” Sulaiman said a tussle between Usyk and Fury at this stage in their careers would be “a momentous, huge event”.