Popular heavyweight Tyson Fury (22-0, 16 KOs) won’t be fighting #8 IBF, #9 WBA Alexander Ustinov (29-1, 21 KOs) tonight in what was a highly anticipated fight, as Fury has decided to withdraw from the fight after his uncle Hughie was hospitalized due an undisclosed illness. Fury, 6’9″ and his trainer Peter Fury chose to pull the plug on the fight with Ustinov.
It’s obviously for the best that Fury pull out of the fight rather than take it and not be totally focused on what he had to do in the ring. Ustinov is too good of a fighter for Fury to have come in their distracted by outside family events.
With all the things in Fury’s life, it was the worst possible time for this to happen because this was a huge fight for him. A win over Ustinov would have signaled that Fury is for real as a major contender on the world scene, and a potential threat to IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Of course, a loss to Ustinov, which was a very real possibility, would also have been a life changing event for Fury as well. Obviously that would have been a real career-killer for the 6’9″ Fury.
Fury took a hit this week when Dereck Chisora pulled out of his fight with him, citing a hand injury. Fury gave Chisora a lot a grief because of it, saying that he had lost his chance of ever fighting him again in the future. Fury didn’t buy Chisora’s hand injury excuse, and instead believed that he simply didn’t want to mix it up with him again after previously losing to Fury three years ago. But now Fury is the one pulling out of a fight. Ustinov hasn’t gone public to deride him for it.
Fury and Ustinov were scheduled to face each other tonight at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester, UK. The fight card will still take place, though, but now the co-feature bout between Billy Joe Saunders and Emanuele Blandamura will be the main event. The Saunders-Blandamura fight will be for the vacant European middleweight title, and it should be a great fight. Also on the card is junior middleweights Liam Smith and Jason Welborn going at it. Terry Flanagan vs. Martin Gethin in a battle for the vacant British lightweight title. Jack Catterall takes on Nathan Brough in a fight for the vacant Central Area 140 pound strap. There’s definitely some decent fights on the card, but just not one at the same level as the Fury-Ustinov fight, unfortunately.