Many fans were quick to spread conspiracy theories about the legitimacy of the Briton’s injury, despite the WBC heavyweight champion sharing a photo of the cut, with some suggesting that Fury needed more time to get fit for the fight.
However, Fury and his team have moved to dispel those claims. On Friday, the unbeaten heavyweight posted a mirror selfie of his physique, before his strength and conditioning coach shared an image of Fury flexing on Sunday.
Both images were taken before Fury suffered his cut, with the 35-year-old looking visibly slimmer in the face and more toned in the body than he was in his last fight. In that bout in October, Fury narrowly beat Francis Ngannou on points after recovering from a shock knockdown. Fury was widely criticised for looking out of shape in the fight, which marked Ngannou’s boxing debut after his run as UFC champion.
Fury’s strength and conditioning coach, Kristian Blacklock, wrote on Sunday (4 February): “Behind the scenes and what people don’t see and don’t realise is the huge personal sacrifices we all made as a team to provide Tyson the best possible preparation.
“We worked for 4 months, dozens of training sessions, massages, meals cooked! Team members driving hundreds of miles to perform [their] individual tasks with Tyson everyday. Giving up Christmas occasions with family then travelling to Saudi for 2 months missing out on New year celebrations with family and loved ones, not seeing your children for weeks all to give our maximum efforts to producing Tyson Fury in the best shape of his life.
“We are obviously all down and dejected with the cut, a freak sparring accident, which some people are actually questioning. But we will regroup and go again as determined as ever.”
Blacklock continued: “Shoutout to @tysonfury himself who gave 100% of himself, pure discipline & professionalism, he embraced new ideas, tweaks and changes we put in place to improve him as an athlete and the pics prove the amazing shape he was in.”
Fury vs Usyk is scheduled to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and is set to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years. Fury holds the WBC title, while Ukrainian Usyk is the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion.
Usyk, 37, last fought in August, stopping Daniel Dubois to stay unbeaten.