Posted on 01/25/2024
By: Sean Crose
WBC heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury sat across from WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk for an interview with Steve Bunce in the leadup to their February undisputed title match in Saudi Arabia. Fury Looked lean and relatively relaxed while Usyk appeared quite focused. “For me he was never in the equation,” Fury said of Usyk. “It was always me, Wilder, and Joshua. And then obviously he beat Joshua…so here we are.” Perhaps surprisingly, Fury didn’t engage in a verbal assault in order to get inside
Usyk’s head (though Usyk’s lack of English may have had something to do with that).
“I think we both are decent men,” Fury said. “We’re both family men, we’ve both got children, we’re both God fearing men.” Still, it’s hard to keep Fury from being Fury. “He’s Alexander,” he said of Usyk, “but I am the Great.” The towering Brit also threw a curveball when he discussed his preparations (or lack thereof) for his February 17th fight with Usyk. “I’m not even in the gym,” he said. “I don’t train this far out, c’mon. Who do you think you’re talking to, a professional athlete? I train four or five weeks for this fight…how much training does a man need? Three for sparring, one week resting.”
While Fury largely did the talking, Usyk – whose native language is Ukrainian, had a few choice comments of his own. When Fury claimed that “a man who wears an earring in his ear can never beat Tyson Fury,” Usyk quickly responded that he wears an earring in honor of his Cossack heritage. “This is just the proof of my Cossack lineage,” he said. “They never lost to anybody. There is no beauty or fashion in this.”
Overall, Fury gave the impression that the upcoming fight and all that surrounds it is simply business as usual. “All we’ve got to do now is dance, and I look forward to the challenge,” he said, though it must be noted that Fury’s words and visual cues are apt to change on a figurative dime. One thing that always appears to remain consistent with Fury, however, is his incredible self-confidence. “I don’t hate him,” he said of Usyk. “I don’t dislike him, he’s a likeable character. I’ve got nothing bad to say about him. But it’s unfortunate for Olexandr that he’s got to face Tyson Fury in my era.”
Usyk no doubt has his own thoughts on the matter.