Deontay Wilder will take a fight against Oleksandr Usyk ‘in a heartbeat’ should the undisputed showdown with Tyson Fury not go ahead.
Usyk’s representatives announced on Wednesday morning the fight is off with the Ukrainian’s promoter Alex Krassyuk insisting ‘absolutely unacceptable’ demands led to their decision.
Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter, has not given up hope yet however with him and Krassyuk agreeing to hold more talks while live on talkSPORT later in the afternoon.
Should no deal be struck, IBF, WBO and WBA champion Usyk will move onto fight Daniel Dubois. The Londoner is the mandatory challenger for Usyk’s WBA strap and has returned to training following a knee ligament injury suffered in a December victory over Kevin Lerena.
Wilder however is also hoping to be in the conversation. The American returned after two back-to-back defeats against Fury to knock out Robert Helenius in one round last October with his manager Shelly Finkel telling Sky Sports: ‘If the Usyk fight is available, Deontay will take it in a heartbeat.’
Wilder only yesterday announced his plans to return to the ring after another hiatus, writing on Instagram: ‘I have been enjoying family, life, and all that it brings, but now it’s time to return to the ring.’
‘The Bronze Bomber’ had been set to meet Andy Ruiz Jr in a final eliminator for the WBC title, which would potentially set up a fourth showdown with Fury.
Talks to revive Fury vs Usyk meanwhile continue with a rematch clause thought to have been a key sticking point in negotiations.
Frank Warren has revealed Fury has backed down in his desire to have the clause removed from the contract but the terms of the split for the rematch are thought to be the main issue.
Sergey Lapin, part of Usyk’s training team, is another who has been critical of Fury’s conduct, insisting there has been a ‘pattern of misdirection’ throughout negotiations.
‘Fury misleads the fans and disrespects boxing,’ Lapin told Best Sports Betting Canada. ‘There’s a pattern of misdirection when it comes to Fury. Did he ever donate that money to the homeless people that he promised early on in his career? What happened to his retirement?
‘How far will you continue to go to avoid Usyk, Tyson? Who knows what new demand we’ll receive this week, will it be the colour of our shorts on fight night, or a certain ring walk song we’ll need to use?
‘Maybe it’s all mind games, to try and get into Usyk’s head, but Fury should know Usyk is built differently. He’s unbreakable.’
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