Tyson Fury, the heavyweight boxing titan, finds himself in the eye of a storm, weathering a barrage of criticism following a series of perplexing decisions made over the past few months.
A Breakdown in Negotiations
The controversy began when Fury became the stumbling block in the negotiations with Oleksandr Usyk, leaving boxing fans deprived of the much-anticipated fight for the absolute heavyweight champion of the world.
The failure of these negotiations cast the first shadow on Fury's reputation, making him the target of discontent and frustration in the boxing community.
A Unorthodox Match-Up?
In an unusual turn of events, Fury began scouting for a new opponent.
Despite the heavyweight division being replete with formidable contenders, he opted to challenge Francis Ngannou. Ngannou is undeniably an accomplished fighter, holding the title of former UFC heavyweight champion. However, Ngannou’s fighting experience is rooted in MMA, and he has never fought a professional boxing match in his career, making this an unconventional choice by Fury that only added fuel to the fire of criticism.
Adding to the controversy, Fury has spent the past year boxing against Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora, both significantly younger challengers. This has further eroded his standing among boxing enthusiasts, leaving many questioning the validity of his decisions.
WBC President Steps in to Defend Fury
In the face of the controversy, Mauricio Sulaiman, the WBC president, has stepped in to defend Fury. Sulaiman insists that Fury, as the WBC champion, had made earnest efforts to secure big matches, but after failing to do so, the decision to box against Ngannou was a calculated move, and Sulaiman has offered his unwavering support.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Sulaiman said, "The WBC is absolutely supportive of Tyson Fury and his decision to engage in a non-title bout and a WBC special event contest. He has tried to land a fight with the unified champion several times, with [Anthony] Joshua and [Andy] Ruiz and all credible opponents, and not having a mandatory contender he may engage in this type of event under the WBC rules." Sulaiman also touched upon the issue of finding a suitable mandatory contender, expressing the WBC's flexibility and commitment.
A potential Wilder vs Ruiz match was hinted at, but with both camps yet to finalize a decision, uncertainty still looms large.
Bellew: Zhang is dangerous, but Tyson Fury would destroy him
Francis Ngannou accuses Tyson Fury of being a cheater
Joe Joyce shares a neutral prediction for Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou
Tyson Fury: With all the muscle mass that Ngannou has, he won't last long with me
Tyson Fury on Joe Joyce: You can’t help somebody who doesn’t want to be helped
Tyson Fury will 'try' in another sport: Usyk is not an option!