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Oleksandr Usyk on Tyson Fury: Both of us need this fight | ‘I’m not afraid. It’s just a big man’ | Boxing News


Oleksandr Usyk has declared that the undisputed heavyweight title fight with Tyson Fury must be made.

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

After two consecutive victories over Anthony Joshua, Ukraine’s Usyk holds the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles, while Tyson Fury is the WBC champion.

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Fury responds to Usyk’s ‘pathetic’ callout, as their representatives continue negotiations over an undisputed title fight

Talks to match the pair in an undisputed heavyweight title fight are currently in progress.

“All four belts haven’t been held by one person,” Usyk said, pointing out it has been two decades since the heavyweight division had an undisputed champion.

“So both of us need this fight.”

He does expect Fury to be even more of a challenge than Joshua. “Yes of course, he has a different style,” Usyk said. “Fury is more audacious.”

But Usyk insists he is undaunted. Previously an undisputed champion at cruiserweight, London 2012 gold medallist Usyk believes he can repeat the feat at heavyweight, even against Fury.

“I’m not afraid of Tyson Fury,” the Ukrainian declared. “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.

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Johnny Nelson believes Fury will prove his dominance as a heavyweight king by beating Usyk.

“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.

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Usyk is urging the International Olympic Committee not to allow Russian athletes to compete under a neutral banner in the 2024 Paris Games

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

He is inspired by his country’s fight to resist the Russian invasion. He served in the Ukrainian defence force at the beginning of the all-out war last year and now represents Ukraine through his sport.

“I’m boxing for everyone who is defending our country right now and in the memory of those warriors who are no longer with us,” he said.

“Also for all those who want to be free and who stood for their country against those who came to conquer us.”

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