The much-anticipated heavyweight unification bout between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury has fallen apart, and it seems that the Ukrainian boxer would have suffered a significant financial blow had the boxing bout gone ahead.
Initially, both champions were discussing a 50/50 revenue split for the event, with the match set to take place in Saudi Arabia in the spring. However, when talks broke down a few weeks ago, Fury was set to take a 70/30 revenue split, with the boxing bout taking place in the UK.
According to Bob Arum, head of Top Rank, the change in revenue split was not the only factor that led to the collapse.
In a recent interview with Steve Kim, Arum revealed that Usyk was set to take a massive pay cut when the bout was moved from Saudi Arabia to the UK.
The heavyweight champion would have gone from a $60 million payday to a $20 million purse.
With the event now off, Usyk is searching for a new opponent.
During his talks with Fury, Usyk was ordered to face WBA mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois, but the match was put on hold as the sanctioning body believed the heavyweight unification was more important at the time. However, with the Fury event off, the door is open for Dubois once again.
Nevertheless, other potential challengers have emerged in recent weeks. Deontay Wilder is in talks with Usyk’s camp for a potential bout.
Wilder has been named the WBA’s number one contender at heavyweight, which typically signals that he will compete for gold next. Additionally, there have been rumors of a two bout deal between Wilder and Francis Ngannou.
Despite the many options, the financial loss that Usyk would have faced in a potential boxing bout against Fury highlights the business side of the sport.
In such a high-stakes bout, the revenue split can make or break a fighter’s payday. With Fury’s refusal to agree to a 50/50 split, Usyk was left with no choice but to walk away from the event.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.