British boxing fans were very much looking forward to seeing if Tyson Fury could keep his undefeated record alive Saturday against Alexander Ustinov. Unfortunately, extenuating circumstances have caused Fury to withdraw.
According to the BBC, Fury decided to pull out of the fight after his uncle and trainer Hughie Fury became ill and was admitted to the hospital.
Fury's withdrawal comes on the heels of original opponent Dereck Chisora withdrawing in his own right on Tuesday, per the BBC. Chisora cited a fractured hand and seemed disheartened by the bad break he received.
"I can't tell you how disappointed I am, but it is on the advice of my specialist I do this," Chisora said. "But once my hand is healed and I'm given the all-clear to train and punch again, I'll be working on the new date for the fight."
Fury had beaten Chisora back in 2011 and was favored to do so once again Saturday. The late withdrawal put Fury's tilt in jeopardy, but 27-1 Alexander Ustinov stepped up to the plate. He was expected to be perhaps an even bigger challenge for the 25-year-old heavyweight, but that fight ultimately won't come to pass.
Despite the elimination of the main event, promoter Frank Warren said in a press release that the event will still be held and that Fury vs. Chisora will occur at a later date.
I'm very, very, disappointed for the fans. After Dereck Chisora pulled out because of his hand injury, we worked very hard to secure a world ranked opponent in Ustinov. It's sad that his uncle Hughie is in a serious condition and our thoughts are with him. The show will still go ahead and as before it's a great card with Billy Joe Saunders, Liam Smith, Terry Flanagan and Jack Catterall and Nathan Brough all in title action. We will be announcing the rescheduled date for Chisora v Fury next week.
The 22-0 Fury was initially outraged after Chisora withdrew and claimed that he would not fight him again, according to BBC.
"As far as I am concerned, Chisora is finished," said Fury. "He hasn't got enough credibility to lace my boots up, never mind step in the same ring."
As it turns out, though, Fury is contractually obligated to face Chisora again, so all signs point toward that fight being rescheduled at some point.
In the wake of the double withdrawal, boxer Lucas Browne bemoaned the current state of the sport:
Conversely, Laceup Boxing expressed pity for Fury considering everything he has been through as of late:
To say that the lead-up to this fight was a whirlwind would be an understatement. Just when it seemed like Fury would still compete despite Chisora withdrawing, yet another wrench has been thrown into the plans.
Some might call Fury hypocritical after bashing Chisora for withdrawing, but Fury is putting family first in this situation, which is something that anyone can relate to.
This is a major disappointment for Fury's fans, but they'll be back in force whenever he steps into the ring again.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter