Rumours that Tyson Fury was getting ‘turned over’ in sparring ahead of his now-rescheduled undisputed heavyweight clash with Oleksandr Usyk are untrue, Express Sport understands. Sources with inside knowledge claim that the Gypsy King was on top form during pre-fight preparations and even forced one sparring partner to quit his Saudi camp early after failing to keep up with the lineal heavyweight champion in the ring.
This comes after murmurs circulated online that Fury had been dropped in sparring by Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia. Sky Sports pundit Johnny Nelson then came out and claimed he had heard Fury was getting ‘turned over’ in the gym.
But our sources insist this is untrue. Before Fury suffered a cut in sparring that forced the Usyk fight to be pushed back to May 18, the lineal heavyweight champion is said to have been firing on all cylinders.
When the news broke on Friday that the fight was to be postponed, Fury took to Instagram to prove he was in great shape by sharing a snap of his shredded physique to his seven million followers.
“Can’t help getting injured in sparring but what I can say was Usyk was in trouble, I am in fantastic shape,” wrote Fury. “I will reschedule (as) soon as I can. 2024 a massive year for Team GK (Gypsy King).”
Doctors have since checked Fury’s eye and confirmed that the May 18 date will give his cut adequate time to heal. The gash above his right eye required 11 stitches so he will have to stay away from sparring for several weeks.
Explaining how the cut came about, Fury’s promoter Warren told talkSPORT: “It happened this morning [Friday] in sparring with a Croatian heavyweight who caught his eye with his elbow.
“I can’t tell you how gutted everybody is and I obviously feel for Tyson, I feel for Usyk and I feel sorry for His Excellency Turki Alalshikh and everyone who works at the Riyadh Season because this is an event that we all worked hard to make happen and unfortunately it’s going to be postponed now.”
Express Sport can confirm that the boxer who cut Fury is 20-2 Croatian heavyweight Agron Smakici.