Before the ink was dry on that statement confirming Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk is OFF, we have Filip Hrgovic desperately looking to step into the breach.
The long-awaited world heavyweight title unification match – planned for February 17 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – has been postponed after Fury sustained ‘a freak cut’ in sparring. Now we await a rescheduled date as doctors assess the severity of the injury to ‘The Gypsy King’.
One man who wants the show to go on come February 17 though is mandatory IBF contender Hrgovic, who stayed busy recently with a one-round obliteration of the overmatched Mark De Mori on that huge ‘Day of Reckoning’ card in Saudi.
He spoke to ESPN in the aftermath of that Fury vs Usyk postponement to state his case for a shot at Usyk’s IBF strap on February 17, as Fury recovers from his injury.
Hrgovic wants Usyk NOW
The 31-year-old ‘El Animal’ told Mike Coppinger: “Now that Fury has gotten injured, I’m ready to step in and fight Usyk. Let’s go Usyk, you owe me my mandatory shot. It’s time to finally face me.”
Hrgovic has been one of the most avoided fighters of recent years in the heavyweight division in the process of building a 17-0 professional resume. Fourteen of those wins have come inside the distance.
Hrgovic’s best win yet was a disputed decision win over Zhilei Zhang on the Usyk vs Joshua 2 undercard in Saudi Arabia in August 2022. That win though looks better by the day with Zhang since rolling to two terrific victories over the previously undefeated Joe Joyce in 2023.