Cut forces Fury to postpone undisputed heavyweight showdown
Tyson Fury has been forced to postpone his undisputed heavyweight title showdown with Oleksandr Usyk after sustaining a cut while sparring.
The WBC kingpin was due to face WBO, WBA Super and IBF title-holder Usyk in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on February 17.
But the gash above his right eye, which required significant stitching, has left fight fans waiting for the bout to be rescheduled.
Fury, 35, said: "I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition.
"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."
A statement from Queensberry Promotions added: "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.
"We will work diligently with all the stakeholders and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reschedule this fight as soon as possible and will keep everyone updated with developments."
The undefeated Gypsy King later took to Instagram to say: "Can't help getting injured in sparring but what I can say is Usyk was in trouble. I am in fantastic shape.
"I will reschedule as soon as I can."
Fury's last bout was against MMA star Francis Ngannou, who dropped the Mancunian in the third round as he lost his pro boxing debut in October via a controversial split decision.
Usyk also claimed his own share of negative headlines two months earlier when he stopped Daniel Dubois in the ninth round.
The Ukrainian successfully defended his titles in front of 40,000 fans in Poland but many observers believed Dubois had been cheated after dropping the unified champ in the fifth.
With Usyk wincing in pain on the canvas, referee Luis Pabon ruled he had been floored by a low blow.