Home Boxing News Oleksandr Usyk wants to face the best version of Tyson Fury, not...

Oleksandr Usyk wants to face the best version of Tyson Fury, not the one that fought Francis Ngannou

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Sky Sports

The promoter of WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) says they want to face a better version of WBC heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) than the one who struggled to defeat boxing debutant Francis Ngannou 0-1 on the weekend.

The 35-year-old Brit peeled himself off the canvas in the third to labour his way to a split decision victory over the 37-year-old former UFC heavyweight champion from Cameroon who boxed effectively from the orthodox and southpaw stances. The 10-round non-title fight was surprisingly competitive with the judges scoring the bout 95-94, 96-93 and 94-95 in favour of Fury.

After the fight it was expected that an announcement would be made that Fury would be facing Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 36, in Saudi Arabia on December 23, but that date was scotched during the post-fight interviews in the ring.

Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk said the former undisputed cruiserweight king only wants to face the best version of Fury so that there can be no excuses when he wins.

“He didn’t treat the guy seriously,” Krassyuk said to SecondsOut. “His performance last night does not show us anything serious for our fight with Usyk. It means that Usyk should not look at this Tyson Fury because this version of Tyson Fury is not the one that we want to beat. We want a different Tyson Fury.

“We want him to take rest, to work and to come back at his top. That’s the guy we want to beat. This version we had last night is a sin to fight with a man like that.”

Fury, who suffered a small cut over his left eye in the Ngannou bout, refused to make excuses for his performance and insisted he was well prepared for the bout.

“I didn’t underestimate him,” Fury said to iFL TV. “I trained for 12 weeks, [gave] it the best preparation I could’ve done. And that’s it.

“It wasn’t the best performance, but I’m not gonna make any excuses. I had a good camp. There was no one to blame or no one to do anything. It was a tough fight. I had to get off the floor to win and, yeah, no excuses.

“We didn’t know how good he was or how bad he was. There was no footage of him, never seen the man fight before as a boxer. And that was it. So, he was a lot more awkward than I thought he’d be. And he wasn’t walking [into] me.

“He was an awkward man. He was good at what he was doing, so fair play to him. Don’t take anything away from him. He give me a better fight than all the boxers did in the last 10 years. I think that’s been me toughest fight I’ve had for years.”

Fury did admit that he didn’t perform up to his own expectations.

“Yeah, it was a below-par performance,” Fury said. “But take nothing away from the other man. You’re only as good as your opponent will let you be and that’s a fact.

“If I would’ve listened to the media and all the so-called boxing experts, ‘Oh, it’s an easy fight, it’s a mismatch, it’s not worth watching’, then I wouldn’t have been able to win that fight.”