• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Fury calls for rematch after defeat to Usyk

Usyk-Fury

Former WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is calling for an immediate rematch after his historic loss to Oleksandr Usyk in Riyadh.

Fury, who suffered the first defeat of his 36-fight professional career, lost by split decision with scores of 115-112, 113-114, and 114-113.

Usyk’s victory made him the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era and the first since Lennox Lewis 25 years ago. The Ukrainian also joins Terence Crawford and Naoya Inoue as the only male fighters to hold all four titles in two different divisions, having previously reigned at cruiserweight.

In the closely contested bout, Usyk initially dominated the opening rounds. Fury found his rhythm in the fourth round, landing significant body shots, but Usyk quickly countered with powerful blows. The fight took a decisive turn in the eighth and ninth rounds when Usyk’s onslaught nearly led to a stoppage.

Despite nearly being knocked out, Fury managed to endure until the final bell, though he struggled in the last three rounds. He believes he did enough to win and is eager for a rematch, a provision already included in both fighters’ contracts.

“I believe I won that fight,” said Fury, 35. “I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority. It was one of those decisions in boxing. We’ll run it back, and I’ll be back. I’ve got a rematch clause.”

Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, confirmed that a rematch is the top priority, likely to take place in October. “That’s what the contract says. It’s what he wants. It’s Tyson’s call,” Warren said.

Usyk also expressed willingness for another showdown. “Of course, I am ready for a rematch,” he stated. However, during the post-fight press conference, he mentioned that his immediate focus is on returning home to his family.

The intense 12-round battle has left boxing fans eager for a rematch, especially given Usyk’s remarkable comeback. Fury remains confident and determined, saying, “We’ll go back to our families and I’ll see him again in October. We’ll rest up and run it again.”

In the co-main event, Australia’s Jai Opetaia won a unanimous decision over Mairis Briedis of Latvia to claim the vacant IBF cruiserweight title.

Additionally, Ireland’s Anthony Cacace became a world champion with a TKO victory over Joe Cordina of Wales, adding the IBF super-featherweight title to his IBO belt.