It’s clear that Oleksandr Usyk and his camp are becoming increasingly nervous about missing out on a potential bout with WBC champion Tyson Fury. The Ukrainian boxer's promoter, Alexander Krassyuk, was the latest to step forward and remind the world that Fury was next in their sights and that a unification match-up with the Englishman was the only fair outcome in establishing who the greatest of this current generation truly is.
What Anthony Joshua must make of Krassyuk indirectly calling Fury out, when the pair still have their scheduled fight ahead in July, is anyone’s guess. As it stands, the latest boxing bets for the 23rd of July largely favour Usyk, who is currently priced at odds of 4/9 to beat Joshua in their rematch. It's easy to picture a scenario where the Ukrainian does indeed defeat Joshua and therefore establishes the precedent for a heavyweight battle of the century against Fury.
It’s also worth keeping in mind, however, that the most recent boxing betting tips do still give Joshua a fighting chance when they go head-to-head. Certainly, a blazing victory for Usyk isn't a guarantee and Joshua could very well strike back for glory.
In essence, if Usyk loses that match, then a date with destiny against Fury becomes a lot less likely. Some would, of course, argue that the prospect of these two meeting in the ring is already a long shot given that Fury has announced his retirementfrom the sport. How steadfast the 33-year-old is with regards to hanging up his gloves for good remains to be seen but, interestingly, the prevailing feeling within the industry is that Fury will be back at some point to contest a unification fight.
Usyk’s camp has obviously been rattled by Fury’s insistence on the fact that he is retired, which is why they’re making their feelings known in public now.
Blessed pic.twitter.com/YedFSsoBVm— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) May 6, 2022
Ultimately, they don't want the biggest payday of their lives to pass them by and the thought of that happening is causing a feeling of apprehension amongst Usyk's team. With this being the case, you can’t help but feel that this is exactly what Fury wants, given that it will provide him with an exceptionally strong hand when it comes to negotiating what the ratio of their purse will be.
As an indication of how this negotiation may play out, we can look back at the purse details between Fury and Dillian Whyte: the Englishman received £24 million, whilst his opponent only took home £7 million. Indeed, the spilt was in the region of 80/20 in Fury’s favour when win bonuses were also added to the final amount.
In this instance, it seems plausible that Usyk would be able to walk away with closer to half the purse if the pair were to fight, but now that he and his advisors are beginning to call Fury out from his cosy retirement in Morecambe, the Ukrainian has handed all the bargaining power to the Englishman.