Home Boxing News Oleksandr Usyk insists bout with Tyson Fury must happen

Oleksandr Usyk insists bout with Tyson Fury must happen

Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Reuters

WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) says that a bout with WBC counterpart Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24) must happen.

The teams behind both boxers have been engaged in protracted negotiations to make that bout that have dragged on since last year with no indication that terms can be reached anytime soon.

“I need this fight and that’s it. I think he needs it too. This fight is very important for both of us,” Usyk said to The Overlap.

The 35-year-old Ukrainian southpaw is riding high after back-to-back decision victories over Anthony Joshua in 2021 and 2022 that saw him claim and defend the three sanctioning body titles along with The Ring’s coveted world championship belt.

The only piece of hardware missing from his collection is the green belt that Brit Fury, 34, won from American puncher Deontay Wilder by seventh-round knockout in 2020.

“All four belts haven’t been held by one person [at heavyweight],” Usyk said. “So both of us need this fight.”

The sticking point for making the fight is, as always, money.

Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk is insisting on a 50-50 purse split, but Fury’s father John recently said that is not going to happen.

“Treat Tyson like a great champion he is,” the elder Fury told iD Boxing. “Stop trying to be the A-side. Usyk is not Tyson’s equal. Fall in line, you’ll get the fight done. Do not respect Tyson, you won’t get the fight. Simple as that.”

If the fight does get made, former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk will have a big task in fron of him. Fury is 6-foot-9 with and 85-inch reach compared to 6-foot-3 and 78-inches for Usyk. On top of that, Usyk will be giving away around 50-pounds in weight.

“I’m not afraid of Tyson Fury,” Usyk said. “This will be like any other fight. It’s just a big man who has never lost before against a man who has the WBC belt.

“Of course it’s possible to get carried away but actually this is a normal fight for the right to win all the belts.

“If a person is bigger than me, it doesn’t mean they’re stronger than me. If they have longer arms, it doesn’t mean that it will be an advantage.

“I’ve been boxing since I was 15 years old. They kept telling me that I shouldn’t be boxing. They told me that I wouldn’t become an Olympic champion or a world champion and that I shouldn’t have switched to the heavyweight division.

“But these were opinions from people who couldn’t do it themselves. Personally I keep praying and move forward. I don’t worry about whether I will reach my destination.

“It’s like a samurai. He doesn’t have an aim, he has his path. I have my path too.”