Tyson Fury told to stop 'screwing around' and fight rival Oleksandr Usyk
Like many boxing fans, Oleksandr Usyk is desperate to fight Tyson Fury in what would be one of the biggest bouts of all time. The pair hold all the belts in the heavyweight division and their fight would be a monumental winner-take-all affair.
A fight has reportedly been agreed between the two undefeated boxers, although the date remains the subject of debate. The Ukrainian expects to finally step into the ring with the ‘Gypsy King’ in February 2024. They were due to fight one another on December 23, but it was pushed back when Fury stepped into the ring with Francis Ngannou in October and escaped with a controversial win, despite being knocked down by the UFC star.
Usyk, who was in Saudi Arabia to watch his future opponent perform, believes Fury will not make the same errors he did against Ngannou when they clash next year. “I think that Tyson Fury underestimated Francis Ngannou,” Usyk told Sky Sports.
“He will be different with me. I think he will make some conclusions after his last fight. But again, I absolutely don’t care about how he’ll behave. What I care for is how I will behave. Ngannou did a good job in the gym,” he continued. “Then showed a good level on the ring.
“Very few people believed in Ngannou. Even when I was asked about him I replied that he’s not enough.” Since Fury defeated Deontay Wilder in their epic trilogy in October 2021, fans have wanted to see him face Usyk, who beat Anthony Joshua to win the IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles a month prior.
There was an opportunity for the fight to take place in 2022, but instead, Fury retained his title against Dillian Whyte at London’s Wembley Stadium. Fury returned to the ring later that year to face Derek Chisora for the third time and cruised to a comfortable win when the officials stopped the fight in the 10th round.
In the aftermath, Usyk climbed onto the ring apron and engaged in an intense face-off with Fury, who trash-talked the stoic Ukrainian. But now, this highly-anticipated bout looks closer to happening than ever before. Usyk is confident the undisputed contest will take place and claims the delay will not affect him.
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“I’m not 100 percent sure. I will be sure when I’m the ring,” he said. “Only when I hear the sound of a bell that’s when I’ll understand that yes, the game is on.” Usyk added: “I’m satisfied. I want this to work out, I want this fight to happen. We were supposed to fight on December 23 but we saw what happened. But the fact that it is postponed is no problem to me. I’m satisfied.”
Usyk last fought in August 2023, at the Stadion Wrocław in Poland. He knocked out Daniel Dubois in the ninth round to retain the belts. Moving up from the cruiserweight division, Usyk is small for a heavyweight and possesses an unusual boxing style. It is a style that could trouble Fury and he cannot wait to test himself against the WBC heavyweight Champion.
“He is big, complicated, strong. But, I am slightly smaller, and I have an incredible motivation, and I’m hungry for boxing. I’m not motivated by money,” Usyk said. “I don’t care about material things. I care for the path I follow. I was [working for] this for 20 years. And I think that in February, we’ll hear the bell.”
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