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Fury vs. Usyk negotiations in peril? Team Fury demands higher split

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: (L-R) Oleksandr Usyk, Tyson Fury, and Bob Arum at Madison Square Garden on December 11, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

The negotiations for the Heavyweight undisputed bout are apparently in danger of collapsing after reports came out that Fury’s team demanded a higher split. The teams of both parties have been said to be engaged in talks since they first agreed upon the fight in December. Given these new circumstances, the chance of the fight happening has slimmed down.

WBC Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KO’s) and WBA, WBO and IBF unified Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KO’s) both command a great deal of respect within the sport due to their achievements which would warrant a 50/50 split of the guaranteed purses in most cases, but Fury’s team is reportedly not in agreement with that.

“The fighters have agreed to fight. I spoke to Frank Warren. We’re giving them until [this] week to come with their offer, which I believe we’ll get. If we don’t, then we’re gonna do the fight at Wembley.” Bob Arum said, who co-promotes Tyson Fury together with Frank Warren.

“And then we’d have to talk about the percentages because Usyk wants 50-50. That’s not right if the fight’s at Wembley because there will be 95,000 Brits at the fight and big Brit pay-per-view money, so Tyson deserves the lion’s share.”

Currently, the undisputed fight may be set in a possible of two locations: the UK and Saudi Arabia. Arum indicated that should the fight happen in the United Kingdom, Fury would then warrant a higher split of the purse, complicating matters if the venue would be in London given Team Usyk’s demands for an equal split.

While Arum’s assumption for Fury to gain a higher percentage of the split – if the fight would take place in Britain – is not unreasonable, it is important to note something similar occurred during the negotiations with former unified Heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KO’s), but Joshua was then without any titles, and coming off two back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk. The offer was eventually accepted by Joshua’s team, but eventually talks broke down and Fury went on to face Derek Chisora (33-13, 23 KO’s) instead.

Similarly, Team Usyk pushing for a higher split if the venue was in Britain, could be considered a sign of either greed or apprehension; though Usyk is a decorated amateur and professional, Fury has largely outsold Usyk when it comes to their fights, especially when it comes to bouts held in Britain. Fury would likely attract most of the fans for the undisputed bout, which would merit a higher split in that sense.