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Dana White has slammed Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk for stalling negotiations over their long-awaited undisputed fight. The UFC president was not surprised by the news that Usyk and Fury still haven’t signed on the dotted line as he reminded everyone about the current state of boxing.
Fans of the sport are well accustomed to the politics surrounding boxing and its history of missing out on big fights as a result. Before heading up the UFC, White was a massive boxing fan and knows about the struggles that supporters face all too well.
So much so in fact that he structured the UFC to ensure the same problems wouldn’t face his promotion by matching the best against the best.
“It’s scheduled, no?” White asked when Usyk vs Fury was brought up at the post-fight press conference for UFC 286 in London last night. When he was corrected, he said: “Oh it’s not? Welcome to boxing, boys. Is it shocking? Yes. Is it ‘shocking’? No. It’s just that is boxing, that’s the way that that sport always seems to play out, the big fights that should happen never happen.
“And when they do, it’s always late and that’s the stuff that used to drive me crazy as a fan and it’s literally part of how I designed this company to not be. We try to make the big fights when it’s time to make the big fights. Think about this; tonight [at UFC 286] on the prelims you saw an 11-0 vs 10-0 [Lerone Murphy vs Gabriel Santos].
“That’s on the prelims! Tell me any show with any organisation anywhere where they have two [guys like that]. And that fight was technically incredible, right? You don’t see that stuff ever, except here and that’s by design.”
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At the time of writing, Usyk vs Fury looks in serious doubt with both sides squabbling over the financial side of the deal. Fury is adamant he will not accept anything less than a 70 per cent lion’s share of the prize pot.
Meanwhile, Usyk’s representatives want at least a 60-40 split. After three months of negotiating and all of the major sanctioning bodies stepping aside to allow for discussions to develop, the WBA has come out and declared that an agreement must be reached by April 1 otherwise Usyk will be ordered to face mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois instead.
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