Tyson Fury postpones Oleksandr Usyk fight after 'freak cut' suffered in sparring

Fight off: Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will no longer go head to head this month (PA)
Fight off: Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will no longer go head to head this month (PA)

The blockbuster heavyweight undisputed fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, scheduled to take place on February 17 in Saudi Arabia, has been postponed.

In an official statement released on Friday evening, Fury's promoters Queensbury confirmed that the reigning WBC champion had suffered a "freak cut" above his right eye during a sparring session in Riyadh.

Such an injury required "significant stitching" and unfortunately gives Fury no chance to make the scheduled date, with doctors now set to determine when exactly he can return to action.

Queensbury vowed to reschedule the mammoth fight with unified WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring title-holder Usyk "as soon as possible" after that medical assessment, providing an image of the nasty wound in question.

Fury apologised for the enforced postponement that he said had left him "devastated", also pledging to reschedule a bout so long in the making that is set to crown the first undisputed king of boxing's blue-riband division since Lennox Lewis in 2000 as soon as he can.

"I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition," Fury said.

"I feel bad for everyone involved in this huge event and I will work diligently towards the rescheduled date once the eye has healed.

"I can only apologise to everyone affected including my own team, Team Usyk, the undercard fighters, partners, and fans as well as our hosts and my friends in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Queensbury's statement read: "Whilst this is still breaking news it is clearly a massive disappointment, after the work that has been done by so many people to finally deliver this historic event to the world.

"Once the doctors have appraised Tyson's eye, we will have a better idea of the period of recovery needed.

"Once known we will work diligently with all the stake-holders and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reschedule this fight as soon as possible and will of course keep everyone updated with developments."

Early reports from Boxing News claimed that Usyk could now look to face IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic next instead.