By: Sean Crose
Tyson Fury had a great story. He had surprised a lot of people by besting a powerhouse heavyweight champion, then fell into a world of booze, drugs, and depression. It might have seemed like the end, but the man returned from the brink. Indeed, Fury even won back the lineal heavyweight title (along with the WBC heavyweight title). There was a lot to be pleased with when it came to Tyson Fury. Now, however, in a matter of months, he’s fallen out of fans’ good graces. Why? Because critics are blaming the Englishman for his planned undisputed heavyweight championship fight with fellow heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk falling through.
And one of those critics is former Fury fan, and Hall of Fame inductee Tim Bradly. “Fury,” Bradley said when asked on Saturday’s televised Top Rank card who he blamed for the fight falling through. “Fury is the one to blame. I mean, you never know what Fury’s thinking. Everyday is different. Honestly. I’m sick of the mess.” Again, this is a man who traditionally has spoken well of Fury. In other words, Bradley is no “hater.” What Bradley is, however, is a man who refreshingly speaks his mind.
As Bradley sees it, Fury simply doesn’t want to face Usyk in the ring, and has used contract barriers to keep from having to. “We want to see an undisputed heavyweight fight. That’s what we want to see, Tyson Fury,” Bradley said. “I would call this a legitimate duck by Tyson Fury. He’s ducking Usyk. He didn’t even think that Usyk was going to take the 70/30 split. Usyk was adamant to take a 50/50 split, he wanted 50/50, then it went to 60/40, and then you have Fury come in and say 70/30. They said ‘we’ll do it,’ then the goalposts got moved again and it continues to get moved.”
Until recently it looked like Fury and Usyk would indeed square off for all the marbles. Both men certainly came across as wanting the fight when they came face to face late last year. Then things began to drag. And drag. And drag. And now there’s no fight at all, which is sadly often par for the course in this era of boxing. Hopefully the two camps will come to terms at some point in the near future, because it will be a blemish on each man’s career if these two don’t square off.