Tyson Fury set for Oleksandr Usyk rematch - but IBF farce means not all titles will be on the line

Tyson Fury set for Oleksandr Usyk rematch - but IBF farce means not all titles will be on the line

Tyson Fury is prone to dramatic pronouncements in the immediate aftermath of his fights, twice calling time on his career before performing a U-turn.

Having just seen referee Mark Nelson raise aloft Oleksandr Usyk’s arm in victory, Fury insisted he had every intention of taking the rematch.

With another cheque approaching the £100million mark to repeat Saturday’s fight, the Briton is unlikely to go back on his word, and he revealed a date has already been provisionally scheduled in Riyadh.

The 35-year-old said: “We’ll go back, have a rest up then get back to it in October.”

Fury will be driven back to the Usyk rematch by the sense – however misplaced – that he should have been up on all three judges’ cards rather than just one, a split decision going the way of his opponent. As he put it: “I believe I won the fight.”

He had dominated the first half of the contest only for Usyk to claw his way back into it and dominate the latter stages, the intervention of Nelson in round nine arguably denying him a shot at a knockout.

Fury’s promoter Frank Warren has yet to talk with Fury in detail about the rematch and said that two options remained: a rematch or an actual retirement this time around.

The rematch, though, looks an inevitability. Warren said: “It’s what Tyson wants, the clause in the contract says ‘immediate rematch’. We are committed because there’s a contract signed.

“However, Tyson’s got to want to do it and Usyk has got to want to do it. If one of them says, ‘I’ve had enough’ that could be the case, and that would be their choice.”

Oleksandr Usyk is the undisputed heavyweight champion (Getty Images)
Oleksandr Usyk is the undisputed heavyweight champion (Getty Images)

Despite the riches on offer, Warren said he had advised Fury to take time away from boxing and with his family rather than contemplate his next move in or out of the ring.

He added: “I told him he’s been away from his family since last December, two back-to-back training camps, no fight in between, it’s been a long time to be away from his family.

“We don’t have to make any decisions about anything. It’s contracted and, if he wants to go through with it, he’ll go through with it. Who is anybody to pressure Tyson on what he should be doing? That’s his choice, he’s the guy getting in the ring, he’s the guy who’s taking the lumps and that’s how it is.

“At the end of the day with Tyson, he will either want to fight or he won’t want to fight. What I said to him is, ‘If you’re going to retire, don’t retire and then say you want to continue back in a month’s time’, which he does sometimes. So, it’s better to just think it through. There’s no pressure, zero pressure for this.”

One belt that is unlikely to be on the line for that rematch is the one belonging to the IBF. Farcically, Usyk will be stripped off it because he has no intention of defending it against mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic. Instead, Hrgovic will fight Daniel Dubois for what will be that vacant belt next month.