WBA Boxing has issued a deadline of April 1 to sign off on the unification battle between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
There has been a long-standing war of words between the two camps, and while a date of April 29 has been discussed for a mammoth meeting at Wembley Stadium, nothing has been confirmed despite being less than six weeks away from the date.
On Sunday, Sportsmail reported that the Ukrainian’s manager and long-time advisor Egis Klimas had thrown that date into doubt, because of issues agreeing terms with the Gypsy King.
Klimas said that if a deal with Fury could not be struck, then Usyk would pivot to a mandatory defence route against fellow Brit boxer Daniel Dubois.
Now WBA President Gilberto J Mendoza has confirmed a deadline for the Fury fight to be agreed, and for the paperwork to be signed off by both parties.
Mendoza tweeted: ‘Usyk v. Fury update: @WBABoxing deadline to receive signed bout contracts is April 1st. Otherwise the Dobouis [sic] mandatory negotiations will be ordered.’
It is a further twist in the ongoing saga, which looked to have been resolved when Fury confirmed the Wembley date as he entered a social media blackout to prepare for the fight.
But Usyk’s team suggested that the date was nowhere near being confirmed, and that the Dubois route was being considered if the April 29 date did not come to fruition.
An element of the dispute appears to be about how the purse is split, with Fury calling for a 70% take because of his ability to draw in punters, and backing from UK promoters Queensbury and US promoters Top Rank.
However, the Ukrainian’s team believe Top Rank’s involvement has actually complicated matters, and that the 36-year-old from Crimea deserves a fair split as he is bringing WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO championships to the table.
A fight between Usyk and Fury would be an opportunity for boxing’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000.
Dubois, 25, has an 19-1 record as a professional fighter, winning 18 of those contests by knockout. His only defeat was against Joe Joyce in November 2020.
His last outing was a technical knock-out victory over Kevin Lerena at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in December.