IBF mandatory Filip Hrgovic could step in and replace the injured Tyson Fury to face IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk on February 17th to save the Saudi card on that date at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh,
Fury, 35, will reportedly need several months for his cut to heal, which is a big one. It’s a gash that he suffered in sparring, not the type that will heal quickly.
According to Chris Mannix, Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs) is interested in challenging Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) on that date. This is an ideal situation for Hrgovic because he’s been waiting for the opportunity, and now, assuming the fight goes ahead, he’s got it.
It’ll be a rush job for Usyk to change his training for the 6’6″ Hrgovic, but he’s close to the same size as Fury but a bigger puncher. That’ll be the hardest thing for Usyk to adjust to.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk is accustomed to the Eastern European style that Hrgovic uses, so there won’t be a major deal for him to adapt to.
What makes Hrgovic tough is his rabbit punches. He tends to use those shots quite a bit in his fights, and they can be devastating because he springs at any point.
Assuming a quality referee is working the Usyk-Hrgovic fight, they’ll police Hrgovic’s rabbit punching and nip it in the bud once he begins using those shots early on in the contest.
“Usyk, says [Egis] Klimas, is hoping to save the February 17th date. Impression Team Usyk has been left with is it could be several months before Fury is be ready to fight,” said Chris Mannix on X.
“Filip Hrgovic, the IBF mandatory for Usyk’s heavyweight title, is interested in stepping in and facing Usyk on February 17th.”
If Hrgovic defeats Usyk, that’ll throw off the dreams of a fight between him and Fury. That might not make a big deal for British boxing fans, as they just want to see Fury fight for the undisputed, and it doesn’t matter as much who he faces for that match-up.