Will Fury be ready to face Usyk in May? Here are some answers

Fury sustains massive cut above eye vs. Wallin (0:38)

Tyson Fury gets caught with a left hand across his brow as he is backed into a corner by Otto Wallin. For more Top Rank Boxing action, sign up for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/. (0:38)

The long-anticipated fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship is now set for May 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Fury-Usyk was slated for Feb. 17 before the bout was postponed due to a cut suffered by Fury over his right eye while sparring Friday.

The cut, Fury said Saturday on "The MMA Hour" show, required 11 stitches to close.

Fury said he was grateful to receive a rescheduled date only one date later, and boxing fans surely join "The Gypsy King" in the solace that this fight is finally going to happen, even if the three-month wait is disappointing.

"Nothing much anybody can do about getting a cut," Fury said. " ... I've never had one before [while sparring]. First time for everything."

Will Fury be fully recovered by May 18? And what if the fight is postponed again for some reason? Let's dive into it:

How did Fury suffer the cut?

Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) was putting the finishing touches on training camp in Riyadh when he suffered a gruesome cut over his right eye while sparring on Friday.

Fury said he went to the hospital afterward and received 11 stitches to close the gash. That would make it impossible for him to fight in two weeks.

A video that's circulated on social media shows Fury, wearing headgear, absorbing an elbow from his sparring partner before "The Gypsy King" paused the action. Fury's promoter, Queensberry, posted a photo of the cut, which showed the severity.

"I arranged to spar 12 rounds with four different guys," Fury said Saturday. "In Round 5, I got an elbow in the eye, a split eye. ... Nothing much anybody can do about getting a cut. ... I've never had one before (while sparring). First time for everything."

Typically, fighters wrap up sparring 10 days out, so this was one of Fury's final sparring sessions ahead of the fight.

Will Fury be ready by May 18?

Apparently so, though there now could be concerns that the scar tissue surrounding his right eye could be prone to another cut in sparring or during the actual fight.

Fury, 35, has already been cut in roughly the same area. When England's Fury was lined up for his rematch with Deontay Wilder, he staged a tune-up bout against Otto Wallin in September 2019. The bout was far tougher than expected and left Fury with a gruesome cut over his right eye that required 46 stitches.

Typically, it takes roughly four to six weeks for tissue to rebuild to maximum strength, and given the placement of the cut (directly over Fury's right eye), the heavyweight champion will need to ensure he has fully recovered.

Given that Fury likely won't be able to spar for nearly six weeks, and will need an eight-week training camp to prepare for Usyk, the timetable for the rescheduled bout should work.

Why did Team Usyk claim Fury is scared to fight?

Fury didn't take kindly to suggestions from Usyk's manager, Egis Klimas, that the injury isn't legitimate and didn't occur the way Fury said.

"They have the medical reports, they have everything," Fury said. "Have a look at the eye. ... Nothing much anybody can do about getting a cut."

Addressing doubts from Usyk's team and from social media about the veracity of the injury, Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority, said he has a "special camera" that gives him daily access to Fury's training camp in Riyadh. He confirmed there was a serious cut that emerged from an accident in sparring.

Usyk said he simply smiled when he was informed of the postponement and proceeded to train. Klimas claimed on the show that Fury is "scared" and that he didn't want to fight Usyk.

"Why would I not wanna fight for the biggest payday in my life and put 10 weeks in the training camp?" Fury responded.

Alalshikh said that if either fighter withdraws from the May 18 bout, he must forfeit $10 million from his purse; and also that one of them would still fight on that date.

What makes Fury-Usyk a superfight?

Fury and Usyk aren't just the two best heavyweights in the world. The fight will also present a rare meeting between two heavyweights who are both on the pound-for-pound list.

Both Fury and Usyk are all-time great boxers headed for the Hall of Fame. The bout will also crown boxing's first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000 and the first in the four-belt era.

Fury and Usyk have been circling each other for years and appeared close to a deal for an April 2023 bout at London's Wembley Stadium before talks collapsed.

The promotion hasn't been a friendly one, with both boxers taunting one another. Fury, of course, is coming off a lackluster performance in October when he struggled to outpoint former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

Usyk is coming off a ninth-round KO victory over Daniel Dubois in August. Usyk's résumé includes an Olympic gold medal, an undisputed cruiserweight title reign and two heavyweight title victories over Joshua.

Fury's résumé boasts a classic heavyweight trilogy with Deontay Wilder, which featured two wins for Fury and a draw. The third meeting was named ESPN's Fight of the Year and KO of the Year, and is considered one of the greatest fights in the history of the heavyweight division.

Fury also ended Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko's title reign in 2015.