Home Boxing News Oleksandr Usyk has no plans to retire just yet

Oleksandr Usyk has no plans to retire just yet

Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury. Photo credit: AP

Undisputed heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 22-0 (14) never thought of retiring on a high after defeating Tyson Fury 34-1-1 (24) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 18.

The 37-year-old Ukrainian southpaw overcame an early deficit to score a knockdown in the ninth round and finished the fight the stronger of the two to win by split decision with scores of 114-113, 113-114 and 115-112.

Usyk added the WBC title to his WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine championships with the win.

Briton Fury, 35, activated the rematch clause in his contract with the return bout set down for December 21 back in Saudi Arabia under the auspices of boxing powerbroker Turki Alalshikh.

“This is the date we were looking at and this is the date we confirmed with His Excellency and we gave our word on it so it’s going to happen on December 21st,” Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk told talkSPORT.

“It is scheduled to happen on December 21st but dealing with our opponent you never know how it works so we are focused not his date.”

The rematch was initially expected to take place in October but Krassyuk says the date was never set in stone.

“Well that was a working date which we regarded as one of the possible days to put on the event but in our initial agreement, we had a time limit to the end of the year so it corresponds to our initial agreement,” he said.

“We never had any talks about Usyk’s retirement. There were maybe rumours, maybe someone else was giving their thoughts but we never discussed it. This issue is not an issue for us.”

Krassyuk said rumours of a facial injury to Usyk, ranging from a broken jaw to a fractured orbital bone, are entirely unfounded.

“No, this is not true, as I spoke at the post-fight conference I gave some explanation,” he said. “He had an old injury, his tooth implant on the upper jaw was injured again so he took all the medical prescriptions and now he’s recovering from that.”

Krassyuk added that dealing Alalshikh to make the fights has been a pain-free experience.

“Well, the thing I like dealing with His Excellency is we never dealt. Whatever we decided we got straight to the media and that’s the best thing that boxing can have nowadays,” he said.

As for talk of Usyk retiring on a high after the last bout and riding off into the sunset as an undefeated, two-weight undisputed champion of the world?

“This is always a decision of the fighter,” Krassyuk said. “When he feels he has nothing to prove, when he feels he doesn’t want to wake up at 5 in the morning and do three trainings in a day, if he’s fed up with that then it’s probably time for him to hang up his gloves.”