The search for the first undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the four-belt era is turning into a disappointment for fight fans. Negotiations between WBA-IBF-WBO heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk and WBC counterpart Tyson Fury have collapsed, and it seems that the fight may not happen anytime soon.
Usyk's promoter, Alex Krassyuk, recently announced that they decided to end the talks because Fury's demands have become outrageous. The original proposal was for the two fighters to face off on April 29 at Wembley Stadium in London. However, Fury demanded a lopsided 70-30 split in his favor, despite only having one belt compared to Usyk's three.
To add insult to injury, Fury also demanded that there be no rematch clause in the fight contract, which Usyk found unreasonable. Usyk countered that it was Fury's camp that came up with the idea of a rematch clause, and this triggered insults from Fury, which Usyk shrugged off.
It's clear that Usyk wants a rematch in the event that he wins the first fight, but Fury is against it. This has triggered speculation that Fury may be scared of Usyk, especially since Fury suffered a concussion, massive swelling, and feared brain damage after his third fight with Deontay Wilder.
Fury's behavior in the negotiations for the Usyk fight has been topsy-turvy, leading some people to believe that he doesn't really want the fight. The WBA has given Fury and Usyk until April 1 to reach a deal, otherwise Usyk will be required to make a mandatory defense of his WBA title against the slow and hittable Daniel Dubois.
Fight fans want Usyk and Fury in the ring together, not facing separate opponents. They are clamoring for the first undisputed heavyweight champ since Lennox Lewis in 2000. However, it seems that the fighters are more concerned with the terms of the second fight, even before the first one has taken place.
For boxing's sake, Usyk and Fury should find a way to settle their differences and fight. It's disappointing that the negotiations have collapsed, and it's unclear when or if the fight will happen. Boxing needs a true heavyweight champion, and it's a shame that politics and greed are getting in the way.