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Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk: British boxer 'devastated' after 'freak' sparring injury forces fight postponement

Tyson Fury has said he is "absolutely devastated" after a "freak" sparring injury forced him to postpone his fight against Oleksandr Usyk, the winner of which will be crowned undisputed heavyweight champion.

The British boxer, the WBC champion, was scheduled to meet his Ukrainian opponent, who holds the WBO, WBA and IBF belts, in Riyadh, later this month.

Fight promoters, Queensberry Promotions, published a picture of Fury showing a cut over his right eye.

On X, TalkSPORT boxing editor, Michael Benson, posted what was said to be "leaked" footage of the incident, in which Fury is hit by his sparring partner and promptly walks away, touching the right side of his head.

Queensberry said in a statement that a "freak cut" requiring "urgent medical attention and significant stitching" opened up above Fury's right eye during a sparring session at his training camp in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Fury said in the same statement: "I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such a superb condition.

"I feel bad for everyone involved in this huge event and I will work diligently towards the rescheduled date once the eye has healed.

"I can only apologise to everyone affected."

He said on Instagram, alongside a selfie: "Can't help getting injured in sparring but what I can say was Usyk was in trouble. I am in fantastic shape."

Fury sustained the cut during a sparring session with Croatian southpaw Agron Smakici, Sky Sports understands.

He had previously suffered a gaping cut around his right eye following a bloody points win over Otto Wallin in September 2019.

A Queensberry Promotions spokesperson said on X: "Whilst this is still breaking news it is clearly a massive disappointment, after the work that has been done by so many people to finally deliver the historic event to the world.

"Once the doctors have appraised Tyson's eye, we will have a better idea of the period of recovery needed.

The aim, Queensberry said, is to "reschedule the fight as soon as possible".

The winner of the bout stood to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield in 1999 and the first in the four-belt era.