By: Sean Crose
“What really killed the deal,” Oleksandr Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, said on the In This Corner podcast, “(was) when Fury’s people came back and said: ‘We’re going to include the rematch, but if Usyk wins were going to go in that direction and then we’re going to split 50/50.'” Klimas was referring to the details of a potential rematch that derailed the much hoped for undisputed heavyweight title fight between WBA, IBF, and WBO champion Usyk and WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
“Now were doing 70/30,” Klimas explained, “but if Usyk wins, and Usyk has all four belts, we’re going to do 50/50, and if Usyk loses we’re going to do 80/20.” In other words, Usyk would take 30 percent of the profits of a fight with Fury while Fury would take 70%. Then, if Usyk won and there was a rematch, the profits would be split 50/50. But if Fury were to win and there was a rematch, the profits would be split in Fury’s favor, 80% to 20%. It was an offer that proved to be too much for Team Usyk (at least according to Klimas).
After agreeing to a 70/30 split for the first fight, Usyk was finished with being offered the short end of the stick. “I told all negotiators: This is going to be a deal breaker'” said Klimas. ‘”You put a saddle on Usyk, and you think he accepted 30/70, so he’s going to take everything that you throw in to him.” Klimas claimed he told Team Fury they were on thin ice. “I said: “‘You’re going to break a deal. It’s a deal breaker right now.” Team Fury asked Klimas to pass the offer along to Usyk regardless.
“When Ksyk heard about that,” Klimas continued, “he said: That’s it. I’m out,’ and he says: “And I am out for sure, seriously. I can’t take that no more. This is too much, too insult(ing). I don’t want to hear it. I’m packing my stuff. I’m going back home to my family. I am leaving.” As Klimas tells it, Team Fury didn’t believe Usyk was seriously walking away from the deal. “Nobody believed me,” said Klimas. “I said: ‘No, you’re not getting what I’m saying. The deal is out.”
And indeed it was.
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