The manager of Oleksandr Usyk has issued a firm, take-it-or-leave-it declaration to Tyson Fury and his team.
Egis Klimas, the longtime advisor of the WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO champion from Ukraine, indicated that they are standing pat on April 29 as the date to stage the undisputed heavyweight championship in the United Kingdom, most likely at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Talks between Usyk and WBC titlist Fury have soured in recent weeks after the Middle East no longer became a viable site for the fight, with both fighters and their representatives publicly bickering over the financial split.
Klimas tweeted earlier this week that his side would only acquiesce to Fury’s demand for a 70/30 split if the fight takes place on April 29. But if the date changes, Klimas said their terms will revert back to an even 50/50 split. Fury rightfully feels that he is the greater commercial draw, and thus entitled to a greater portion of the proceeds, while Usyk feels that his three heavyweight belts (to Tyson's one) merit high compensation.
On Thursday, Klimas indicated that if Fury’s promoters—Queensberry Promotions in the UK and Top Rank in the US—fail to consummate a deal for April 29, the fight itself would be cancelled outright and Usyk would instead pivot to a mandatory defense of his WBA title against British contender Daniel Dubois, who is also promoted by Queensberry.
“If this fight is going to happen, [it will] only [happen on] April 29th,” Klimas told journalist Steve Kim. “Or it's just going to be cancelled, and we'll go with the mandatory.”
Egis' remarks would appear to pour water over recent declarations from Fury and his promoter that the fight is on track to happen as originally planned.
Moreover, Alexander Krassyuk, the promoter of Usyk, has repeatedly conveyed his pessimism about the fight, especially in regards to the April 29 date.
While Klimas suggested there were some improvements in talks, now that Top Rank has gotten “more involved,” he voiced his displeasure at what he feels is constant disrespect from Fury's side to his client. Klimas has a close relationship with Top Rank, as the Las Vegas-based company promotes several of Klimas’ other key clients, including Usyk’s compatriot and close friend Vasiliy Lomachenko.
“It's changed, Top Rank got more involved in it, but not too much,” Klimas said of negotiations. “They’re still treating Oleksandr Usyk like they did with [previous Fury opponents] Derek Chisora, or Dillian Whyte. They act like it's just a regular Fury fight in the UK, and everything has to be by Fury's rules.’"
A seemingly fed-up Klimas also pointed out that negotiations may take even longer now that they are pursuing legal counsel in the UK, in an attempt to bolster their standing at the negotiating table.
“We're going to wait because right now we're in the process of hiring British counsel because they (Team Fury) are going by the British rules,” Klimas said. “We are the outsider, but we can't just play by everything they throw to us.
“Enough is enough.”
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