The pair were familiar with each other having sparred hundreds of rounds when working under the same trainer in Shane McGuigan, something which aided Billam-Smith securing a majority-decision victory.
The British heavyweight, 33, controlled the contest against the durable American but it was not the explosive early finish many expected.
The 35-year-old defended his WBA, WBO and IBF belts in a rematch with Anthony Joshua on August 20 as he once again showcased his superior skill. Their second clash had been postponed in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, after which Usyk returned to his homeland to aid the war effort.
Joshua lost by way of split decision to Usyk, who successfully defended his IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight belts.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury had made a public plea to train Joshua after he was outpointed by the Ukrainian last September at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Gypsy King claimed his training along with his coach SugarHill Steward was the key to Joshua getting revenge and regaining the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.
Hearn who said the fight would take place in June or July disclosed that negotiations were already ongoing.
The Nigeria-born British boxer is back home to meet his native people while seeking ways to impact on the community and give back to the sport through support for upcoming talents.
Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, dominated Joshua in their first fight at a sold-out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to seize the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts.
Usyk has made the difficult decision to leave his combat unit in the fight against Russia, to prepare for his heavyweight rematch with Anthony Joshua this summer.
As things stand, the Gypsy King has been ordered to defend his WBC heavyweight title against Whyte next, while AJ has activated his contractual clause for a rematch with WBA, IBF and WBO champion Usyk.
AJ was beaten by Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September, relinquishing his WBA, WBO and IBF title.
The Briton has a rematch in place with the Ukrainian, who caused an upset at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium earlier this year to take his IBF, WBO and WBA titles.
The ‘Bodysnatcher’ was supposed to fight the Swede on October 30 at the 02 Arena with Whyte’s WBC ‘interim’ belt on the line.
Joshua was comfortably outboxed in front of over 63,000 fans at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium last month, losing his heavyweight titles to the unbeaten Usyk in his hometown.
Joshua lost his WBA, IBF and WBO crowns at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last month after being outclassed on points by Usyk.
In a tweet on his verified @BukolaSaraki handle, Saraki, an avid sports fan, stated that Joshua is the definition of a true champion as he demonstrated magnanimity in defeat.
Usyk overcame Joshua on Saturday night with a majority decision at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The judges gave scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 in his favour. It followed an absolute masterclass in front of 65,000 hostile fans inside the north London venue.
Joshua lost his WBA, IBF and WBO belts to the Ukrainian, who is now the unified heavyweight champ thanks to a dominant decision victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The rangy boxer, who lost to his Ukrainian opponent in the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Oriental middleweight title bout in July, said the defeat to Mytrovanov-via unanimous decision-was a setback and not a disaster.
The World heavyweight champ, who currently lives in Morecambe with his family, took to his Instagram Stories to confirm the news.