Alex Krassyuk reveals his side of the breakdown in the Fury-Usyk talks
Usyk's promoter actually praises Frank Warren for his optimistic efforts in trying to make the fight
Ukrainian promoter Alex Krassyuk spoke in length to Danny Flexen from SecondsOut to reveal just why the undisputed heavyweight clash between his unified champion Oleksandr Usyk and WBC titlist Tyson Fury will no longer go ahead.
Krassyuk disappointingly answered the first question whether there's still hope with: "I don't really think so. We did everything possible, we took all the possible efforts."
He expanded, "First time the fight was off was when I was in London. So we had the meeting with George Warren and we were discussing the mandatory. Once in a sudden, we hear the appearance of Tyson Fury a couple of hours before the deadline stating 70-30, you're worth 30 [per cent] blah blah… Usyk plays the game, accepts, he calls his bluff, and then the ball starts to roll.
"So Tyson has to make all the arrangements to start the training camp. It was complicated and we had to work on and make all the paperwork, which was really complicated.
"It wouldn't be right to go deep into the details because of the business ethics and it might be possible only if Frank [Warren] agrees that we disclose and we discuss publicly, I will not do it just by myself though there are some interesting points and by the way there is actually no one to blame because Frank himself did as much as he could, he tried hard, and he's still trying, he's very optimistic. He took every single effort to convince us, to convince Tyson this event takes place on the 29th.
"But he's limited with the fighter's decision because we promoters are just serving to our clients who are the final decision makers."
Just last weekend, after a lot of back and forth on social media between the heavyweight rivals, it seemed like the historic undisputed showdown was on it's way to being finalised. But now, just a few days later, any hope of boxing history being made on April 29th has been completely dashed.
The Head of K2 Promotions explained what he believes caused this cancellation, "We went through most of the issues, we had to compromise, so we agreed because we compromised again. We acted in good faith so it goes in the proper direction, but at some point when I was talking to Usyk, he asked me a very decent question, 'Alex, we went through many good and bad things'; we have been together since 2013, since his first fight in pros, and we did go through everything, nightmares, happy moments, some extremely happy moments, we went through everything, and throughout our way we were really flexible and we went towards the fight, so we was always reasonable and tried to make it in good faith as the will to satisfy the boxing fan, and at this time he asked me, 'How many more times I have to bow my head in front of [him], I am the unified heavyweight champion, I am the undisputed cruiserweight champion… ok so I can go and bow my head until the end of my life, no way, no way! I did act in the courtesy of global boxing when I accepted 70/30, but I accepted it with a condition, certain condition, I posted on Instagram, "Greedy belly, I accept your offer 70/30 but you have to donate £1million to Ukraine immediately after the fight"', and Tyson Fury seemed to hear only first part of this message, and didn't like or didn't want or just didn't hear it all the second [part], this also was a clause.
"So there was a bunch of issues that collectively put the criticalness, which finally exploded so we had to pull the plug."
Promoter Frank Warren disagreed with the purse split in the rematch, stating that it should be 50-50 if Usyk wins, despite the history-making boxer becoming a double undisputed champion and holding all the belts in that scenario.
But Krassyuk explained that was not the dealbreaker, "It was not the case itself, it was the point where it all exploded. Everyone is like trying to convince that Usyk would have his payday fighting Tyson Fury but it's not true. The money Usyk is supposed to make in this fight is probably three times smaller than he made in his last fight, so it's not the payday for Usyk 100 per cent and it's not even close to it, so he accepted as the man of boxing because he wanted to be a part of the heavyweight undisputed fight, he wanted to delivert this to whole world, and especially to his homeland to the country of Ukraine where he is one of the biggest inspiration from sports.
"So, from my perspective, this was not the single clause, it was a list of things that we had to compromise, compromise, compromise. It seemed like Tyson Fury, after Usyk accepted for 70/30, Tyson Fury felt that he can put a saddle on his neck and start rding Usyk; no, it won't happen.
"And from Tyson's perspective, I wouldn't blame him, no. It's his decision, he's the champion, he's the personality, it's his attitude how he treats people, how he treats business."
He then reassured boxing fans that becoming undisputed at heavyweight remains the end goal for Team Usyk, "From our perspective, the undisputed heavyweight championship remains our highest priority. We will comply with our obligations in front of the mandatories and we will work hard to make it happen. Whoever is the temporary owner, temporary holder of the WBC belt that's pending Usyk's collection, it's not like an issue; the issue is the belt. The unfortunate thing is that Tyson Fury, at this moment, holds it.
"Usyk intended to fight Tyson, not because he's Tyson or because it's a payday or anything like that, his only reason for fighting Fury was because Fury has the WBC belt, the fourth belt that is pending his collection."
"When we were discussing the deal, we approached with an offer, and by the way I think Frank Warren mentioned it earlier, porbably in December or January, he said that it's an easy fight to make, it's a 50/50 deal, both guys are the champions, so no disrespect to anyone, 50/50 and we go, and that is what we truly believed.
"And when we started our negotiations, I approached with the formula that we get 50/50 for the first fight and we have 50/50 for the rematch. We know Tyson doesn't like the rematches, he skipped one with Klitschko, he tried to avoid one with Wilder, so he has it in his portfolio, so in order to leave incentive for Tyson not to get back to bad things he used to do after Klitschko fight, we were ready to make it like 50/50 both, so whoever wins it's not about money, it's only about sports, only about boxing."
In conclusion, Krassyuk closed the door on communications, yet still left a glimmer of hope, stating, "At this moment it's too late, but a no rematch [clause] may only happen at a 50/50 split. Usyk's understanding was that if he accepts 70-30, then the rematch is 70/30 in favour of the winner."
He finished by revealing that Tyson wanted a 50/50 split if Usyk won and 80/20 if he won, but he did tease in his closing statement that the fight could still happen one day, "Who knows, maybe this could happen at the end of the year, or maybe never, but we hope."
If this fight is truly dead in the water then WBA Regular champion Daniel Dubois is first up on the rotation of Usyk's mandatory defences.
"We have no problems negotiating with Queensberry, with George, with Frank, we are friends, we understand each other, so I don't think we are going to face any troubles."
Watch the interview in full:
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