Oleksandr Usyk has revealed that he missed the birth of his daughter before Tyson Fury pulled out of their blockbuster fight due to injury.
Usyk and Fury had been due to fight on February 17 to crown the undisputed heavyweight champion, with all four of the division’s belts on the line. However, the British fighter withdrew from the bout after sustaining a cut above his eye in training.
The contest has been rescheduled to May 18, although Usyk said he missed the birth of his daughter as he was in the thick of his training camp in Spain in preparation for the initial February date.
“I have sacrificed a lot [for this fight]. I did not celebrate any holidays – not New Year’s Eve, not my birthday, nor the birthdays of my children that took place while I was training,” the 37-year-old Ukrainian said in a press conference.
“I was not with my wife when she gave birth, even though I should have been there, in the [hospital] corridors. Probably not right next to her because [giving birth] is her business. But [I should have been outside] in the corridor, where I could hear my new baby daughter crying.”
Fury currently holds the WBC belt while Usyk has the WBA, WBO and IBF titles to his name. The winner would become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.
It’s not the first time the highly-anticipated fight between the owners of the four heavyweight division championship belts has been put off.
Reports suggested the pair would face off in April 2023 before negotiations fell through. They were then supposed to fight in December last year, but Fury’s difficult victory over former MMA champion Francis Ngannou – in which Fury claimed a controversial win over the boxing debutant – in October pushed those dates back.
And their February fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, looked like boxing fans would finally get their wish and see an undisputed heavyweight champion crowned.
But weeks before the bout, Fury sustained an injury while sparring in training camp above his right eye which required stitches, resulting in the delay.
Although members of Usyk’s team were critical of Fury’s postponement and despite missing the birth of his daughter in training camp, the Ukrainian was in a positive mood about the situation.
“I’m still happy – things happen, it’s life,” he told the BBC.
“I’m very happy because I now go to Ukraine. I see my two daughters and my wife. I go to my church and pray. A little bit of rest and back to my camp.”
CNN’s Andrew Carey contributed to this report.
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