Heavyweight contender Tyson Fury will remain in the main event of Saturday's fight card at the Phones4U Arena in Manchester, England, and will face last-minute substitute Alexander Ustinov, promoter Frank Warren announced Wednesday.
Fury was due to face British countryman Dereck Chisora in a much-anticipated rematch for Chisora's European title as well as in an eliminator to become one of world champion Wladimir Klitschko's mandatory challengers. However, Chisora fractured his left hand during his final sparring session Friday before dropping out of the fight -- which will be rescheduled -- on Monday.
On Wednesday, Ustinov, the man against whom Chisora broke his hand during the sparring session, agreed to terms to take his place in what will be a meeting of giants. The 250-plus pound Fury is 6-foot-9; the 300-pound Ustinov is 6-7.
Fury (22-0, 16 KOs), 25, twice had fights with former world titleholder David Haye canceled in the past year, which left him idle for 10 months. He was happy a new opponent could be secured so he didn't have to waste yet another training camp and miss another payday.
Fury said he will take out his frustrations on Ustinov for the fight with Chisora being postponed.
"The first thing is I'm happy to still be fighting this Saturday and that the fans will get what they paid for and see a good fight," Fury said. "We've had a hard training camp and I'm in the [best] shape of my life, expecting to knock out Chisora. But now I'm going to have take it out on Ustinov and make sure he takes the full force of my anger.
"Chisora will now see what he was going to get on the night -- knocked out. Strangely, I'm going to break the man who broke Chisora's hand. Full credit for Ustinov for taking the fight. He's a big lad. More importantly he's a credible world-ranked opponent and he must fancy his chances. We're two gladiators, but he's going to feel what it is like against a world-class heavyweight like me."
Ustinov (29-1, 21 KOs), 37, of Belarus, has won two fights in a row since his lone defeat, an 11th-round knockout loss to top contender Kubrat Pulev in a European title fight in September 2012. Pulev is set to challenge Klitschko for the world title on Sept. 6.
In Ustinov's last fight, in November, he easily outpointed faded former title challenger and longtime contender David Tua on Tua's turf in New Zealand.
"Under the circumstances, Ustinov is a brilliant replacement for Chisora at this late stage," Warren said. "He's fit and ready after training and sparring for two weeks with Chisora at his gym, he's got a great record, like Fury he's giant of a man, and has got some serious knockout punch power. Ustinov is world-ranked inside the top 10 of two major governing bodies and didn't hesitate about fighting Fury, which shows his confidence.
"Fury's been preparing for a shorter man in Chisora and he'll have to adjust his preparations, but with two huge men in the ring throwing big punches, anything can happen."