Usyk and Fury were due to box on 17 February in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but it was revealed on Friday that the Briton had suffered a cut above his eye while sparring. As a result, the bout has been postponed until 18 May.
The news came as a blow to both fighters and numerous stakeholders, but Usyk was especially affected after missing his daughter’s birth in vain.
“I don’t know if a lot of people know this, but he missed his baby’s birth for this,” the Ukrainian’s sparring partner Emanuel Odiase told the Mirror. “He was in Spain preparing when his wife was giving birth in Ukraine.
“He was so focused on camp that he stayed in Spain and he missed it for that, so it’s extra annoying, I can imagine. He’s been in Spain for two or three months, but his daughter was born a couple of days ago.
“He looked the best in this camp, as good as ever. I think he felt it as well. He was in good shape and then boom, fight is postponed. As the man he is, I don’t think he will get distracted.
“I wish [Usyk, his wife and daughter] all the best and a lot of health. It’s annoying, but that’s life. You’ve got to stay cool, calm and collected, because if you let that stuff get in your head, it’s not good for you.
“It’s going to be annoying for him, because he’s been peaking in training camp. He’s done that before; I was out in Turkey last March when he was preparing for their fight that was supposed to happen in April, but it never happened.”
Usyk, 37, holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles, while Fury, 35, is WBC champion. Both fighters are unbeaten, and their upcoming bout is due to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years.
Usyk last boxed in August, stopping Daniel Dubois to retain the unified titles, while Fury last fought in October, narrowly outpointing Francis Ngannou.
Fury’s WBC belt was not on the line against the ex-UFC champion, who was making his boxing debut in the fight. Ngannou knocked down Fury before controversially losing via decision.