By Steve Kim Updated on March 23, 2023

Fury-Usyk Goes 'Belly' Up

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Please do not kill the messenger. But remember last week on 'K9's Corner' when we talked about the snags in the negotiations between unified heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk, and WBC belt-holder, Tyson Fury? It was reported that the highly anticipated match-up was wavering, even though there were announcements about this bout taking place on April 29 at Wembley Stadium in England.

70-30, Do You Dirty?

Well, unfortunately this contest which would be for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, has gone to 'Bolivian' for the time being.

Egis Klimas, who manages Usyk told on Tuesday evening, "No matter how much Usyk compromised, he was pushed for more. Whatever we asked, it was, 'Tyson is not going to approve. Tyson is not going to agree.' Tyson, Tyson, Tyson."

The debate was first over the financial split, then the rematch clause, and then it seems the splits for the rematch clause. So with that, they will go their separate ways.

Picture for Fury-Usyk Goes 'Belly' UpMatchroom Sports

"It's enough, we can't let a champion who achieved so much in the sport, who was an undisputed cruiserweight champion, became a unified champion in the heavyweight division, we can't let him be so disrespected," said a frustrated Klimas. 

Moving forward, Usyk has some mandatory obligations with the WBA (Daniel Dubois) and IBF (Filip Hrgovic) to contend with. Regardless, it will not be versus 'the Gypsy King' on April 29. "Not for all the circumstances we agreed to, and they were pushing for more and more," said Klimas, who said he will confer with the sanctioning bodies soon.

Usyk will be taking a short respite from the gym before resuming his training for whoever his next dance partner is.

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"We would like to fight him as fast as possible because he's been in training for a long time," said Klimas, who believes that he'll return to the ring most likely in June or July.

While those options, alongside WBO interim champion, Joe Joyce (who has an upcoming bout versus Zhang Zhilei) are solid options, they simply are not nearly as lucrative as a showdown versus Fury, who now has to look at other options. Andy Ruiz who had his 15 minutes of fame back in 2019 as he upset Anthony Joshua, has thrown his hat into the mix.

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While Usyk has three-quarters of the heavyweight titles, it is Fury who is the marquee attraction here. And the reality is that no matter who he fights, he will have lucrative paydays and huge crowds to see him ply his trade. 2022 was a prime example of that as he took care of Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora in the UK.

And with that, when it comes to negotiations versus Usyk, he will always have the upper hand to a certain degree, regardless of the Ukrainian's professional pedigree. But Fury is now stretching the patience of boxing fans with his antics. Even British loyalty will only go so far. This is a fight where he would certainly be the favorite, given his advantage in size. But there might be a realization that Usky has some of the very same attributes that have given Fury some problems in the past against Steve Cunningham and Otto Wallin. 

Picture for Fury-Usyk Goes 'Belly' UpDAZN

Nobody really knows what the mercurial Fury will do next.

Bob Arum, who's company (Top Rank) has an interest in Fury wasn't so sure himself.

"I'll consult with the English guys, and we'll figure it out," he said.



With all this going, we'd be remiss if he we didn't talk about a really good fight taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (Showtime PPV) between David Benavidez and Caleb Plant, a true grudge match if there ever was one in modern day boxing. 

And it's a meeting of the number one (Benavidez) and number two (Plant) super middleweight in the world according to Ring Magazine (which has Saul Alvarez as their champion). 

Picture for Fury-Usyk Goes 'Belly' UpShowtime

It's an interesting battle of styles between the offensive minded Benavidez, and the slick-boxing Plant. But what really makes this bout intriguing is the personal animus that exists between the two. Simply put, they detest one another, and have so for years. It probably stems from when the Benavidez clan made comments about Plant's late daughter, and Plant (who seems to get under everyone's skin with his sometimes prickly personality) hasn't been shy to call out Benavidez's usage of cocaine and his problems at the scales.

ALL ACCESS: David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant | Full Episode (TV14) | SHOWTIME PPV

Benavidez is about a 4-1 favorite in this contest. The consensus is that while Plant will have success early on with his quicker feet and deft boxing skills, he just wont be able to hold off the hard-charging Benavidez, who despite having lost the WBC 168-pound title twice, has never lost inside the ring. 

Regardless of what happens, I don't expect Benavidez and Plant to hug it out afterwards. Honestly, I kinda like it that way. 



It was first reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN that former undisputed bantamweight champion, Naoya Inoue, had suffered a training injury, and his bout with unified 122-pound champion, Stephen Fulton, scheduled for May 7 in Japan would be post-poned. Top Rank released a statement on Wednesday stating, "Fulton-Inoue will be rescheduled for July, with a new date to be announced in due course."....Hearing some scuttlebutt that talks between welterweight champions, Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, are taking place once again....Newly crowned IBF featherweight belt-holder, Luis Alberto Lopez, will defend his title against Michael Conlan in Dublin, Ireland on May 27. This card will be streamed on ESPN+....I can be reached at






About Author
Fury-Usyk Goes 'Belly' Up
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.