TYSON FURY will not be fighting Oleksandr Usyk next – that is official. Steve Kim was one of the first to break the news that Usyk’s team had walked away from the negotiations due to disagreements over a rematch clause. Alex Krassyuk, Usyk’s promoter, joined Frank Warren on talkSPORT at one point and despite the pair agreeing to give negotiations one final go, they still couldn’t get the fight over the line.

There were countless interviews across a huge range of outlets with various people involved in the negotiations – to the point where you would need to sacrifice a serious chunk of your spare time to just keep up to date with it all. Of course, most people won’t do that and so they’ll only get part of the story.

And, in reality, the story doesn’t matter. Not many people will care about the percentage splits of rematch purses that couldn’t be agreed upon, or the pointless deadlines thrown in by sanctioning bodies. All that matters is that the fight isn’t happening.

All we’ve got instead are the likes of Warren and Krassyuk putting the blame on the opposing side. It’s sad to see. Nobody involved walks away from this with their reputation enhanced, and they’ve only themselves to blame. Firstly, because they couldn’t get the fight made but secondly because they couldn’t help but air so many of the details of these negotiations in public, whether it was on social media via Fury and Usyk themselves or through the various other interviews that were conducted throughout the process.

Given the importance of the aborted fight, we now have to endure soundbites from pretty much everyone within boxing as they’ll inevitably be asked about it, whether it’s Eddie Hearn saying “I told you so” or Tim Bradley laying the blame solely at Fury’s feet in an interview with ESPN.

It will be interesting to see how many boxing and sport outlets look at the bigger picture in the fallout of yet another boxing failure. Instead of just focusing on the individuals involved in this circumstance, it’s worth scrutinising the systems – or lack thereof – in place that make it so easy for superfights like this one to simply never happen. It’s easy to fire questions at those involved or to seek the opinion of other prominent names, but the harder question we should all be asking is: if the best won’t fight the best, what’s the point in the sport?

This weekend Anthony Joshua looks to build himself back up after consecutive losses to Usyk when he faces American Jermaine Franklin. Prior to fight week there’s not been much press about the fight, which seems a conscious choice from Joshua’s side. One bit of news we did get though, courtesy of the Mail Online, is that Franklin has filed a lawsuit against Salita Promotions.

It’s not the best way to enter the fight week of the biggest contest of your life. The suit is, unsurprisingly, centred around money and contractual disputes. It puts Franklin at even more of a disadvantage going into this fight with Joshua, as it’s a distraction he just doesn’t need at this point.


After his 170th and final fight, ID Boxing released a short film about legendary British journeyman Lewis van Poetsch, directed by Jamie Yuan. It’s about 10 minutes long and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s almost impossible to dislike van Poetsch and this documentary shows why: he’s incredibly self-aware and has an almost unwaveringly positive outlook on boxing, despite the fact he lost most times he entered the ring.

What’s fascinating about documentaries like this and others that have come before it are the insights it gives into the skill it takes to be a successful journeyman. The film was made prior to Van Poetsch’s 150th fight, so it’s more an examination of his role as journeyman rather than a retrospective on his career.

It takes an underappreciated level of skill to fight so regularly while minimising damage but also not just getting dominated in every outing. Prior to Tommy Fury’s fight against Jake Paul a few weeks ago there was a lot of talk about Fury’s level of opposition heading into the bout. His opponents, with their losing records, were unfairly dubbed “taxi drivers” and dismissed as having no skill whatsoever. Even in this short 10-minute film that notion is debunked – journeymen provide an essential service and it’s not something just anyone can do.

Lawrence Okolie fights David Light at the Manchester Arena on March 25, 2023 (Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer)


Lawrence Okolie’s move to Sky Sports and BOXXER came with its fair share of attention and discourse, including barbs being traded in the media between Okolie and Hearn, his former promoter. The new partnership with Sky kicked off this past weekend with Okolie’s pedestrian win over David Light in Manchester. It certainly wasn’t the performance Okolie nor Sky were hoping for, but a win is a win. And credit to Sky for not trying to dress up what was a lacklustre main event.

Unfortunately, UK fans missed out on being able to watch David Benavidez’ win over Caleb Plant in the US as it wasn’t picked up by a single broadcaster. This isn’t the first time a significant international card has fallen through the cracks and it sadly won’t be the last.

Listeners of talkSPORT will also have been treated to a heated conversation between Hearn and presenter Simon Jordan, who had previously “challenged” the promoter to come onto his show and answer his questions. Jordan doesn’t shy away from making his opinions known and he does sometimes raise some interesting points about boxing, but he also often comes across as overly combative. There was an element of this chat that seemed as though it was looking for some sort of ‘gotcha’ moment to catch Hearn out. Ultimately there wasn’t much substance to it and you would have been better off tuning in to Hearn’s appearance on Capital FM, which was a lot funnier.

Boxing on the Box:


March 31

Harlem Eubank-Christian Uruzquieta

Channel 5

Coverage begins at 10pm

April 1

Anthony Joshua-Jermaine Franklin


Coverage begins at 7pm

April 2

Robeisy Ramirez-Isaac Dogboe

Sky Sports Action

Coverage begins at 1am