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Showdown with Usyk shelved after Fury's sparring cut

EPA PHOTO

The undisputed heavyweight championship bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has been postponed after Fury suffered a cut during sparring.

Promoters Queensbury Promotions announced the news on Friday that the blockbuster bout, scheduled for February 17 in Riyadh, is temporarily off.

The pair were set to battle to unify Fury's WBC heavyweight championship with Usyk's WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts, crowning the first unified heavyweight boxing champion since 1999.

It's left Australian world champion Jai Opetaia and Gatton-based New Zealand talent David Nyika, who were both set to feature on the undercard, scrambling to make alternative arrangements.

Gold Coast cruiserweight Opetaia's rematch with Latvian Mairis Briedis was for the IBF title while for Nyika, also a cruiserweight, it was a chance to make a statement in the biggest fight yet of the Olympic bronze medallist's professional career.

"I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this bout for so long and being in such superb condition. I feel bad for everyone involved," Fury said in a statement.

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

Fury, 35, won his WBC championship after knocking out Deontay Wilder in February 2020, while 37-year-old Usyk won his belts after outscoring Anthony Joshua in September 2021. Both boxers are undefeated in their professional careers.

"I will work diligently towards the rescheduled date once the eye has healed. I can only apologise to everyone affected," Fury added.