Oleksandr Usyk hopes Tyson Fury world title fight will be confirmed for February in Saudi Arabia

Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury were set to fight on December 23, but after his closely contested match with Francis Ngannou, it looks likely to be delayed until early next year; both Usyk and Fury are undefeated heavyweight champions

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Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk bumped into each other in Saudi Arabia ahead of Fury’s fight against Francis Ngannou

Oleksandr Usyk is hopeful his undisputed heavyweight world title fight with Tyson Fury can take place in Saudi Arabia in February after the British star’s bruising bout against Francis Ngannou.

Contracts were signed back in September but a proposed December 23 date in Riyadh looks sure to be delayed since WBC champion Fury’s near-defeat to former UFC champion Ngannou in a non-title bout on October 28.

Ukrainian Usyk holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts and both he and Fury are unbeaten.

Speaking to Reuters from his training camp in Valencia, Spain, Usyk said the date should be decided next week.

Image: Usyk says he will sharpen his boxing skills while waiting a few more weeks for the Fury fight

“It could be February and I would very much like it to be February,” he said, through an interpreter.

“I was ready to fight on the 23rd but since Fury got some injuries in the last fight, a knockdown, then probably it will be postponed to next year.”

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The long-awaited on-off fight would crown the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 and the first of the four-belt era, and Usyk has made clear that he would take advantage of this the delay.

“I’ll just do more technical work. Technically, nothing changes. I just have a little more time for some additional tasks, and that’s it,” he said.

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“I don’t think about Tyson Fury at all… I think about myself, about my team, about my family. I don’t need to think about my opponent. I just need to be with him, fight and that’s it.”

Usyk spoke of friends fighting on the front line in the war with Russia, faith and the inspiration of his late father, and warned Fury he would be taking all of that into the ring with him in pursuit of defeating the heavyweight champion.

“Everything I do today – my achievements, my victories, my efforts – are focused to honour my country and my family,” he said.

Usyk fought Anthony Joshua in Jeddah last year, retaining his titles in a ‘Rage on the Red Sea’ rematch of the fight in London back in September 2021 where he took Joshua’s belts, and carried his nation’s hopes with him.

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Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua on a split decision after an enthralling rematch

“The first person who was an example for me, and who I wanted to be like and copied his behaviour, was my late father who told me that I could do it,” he said.

“When I stood in the circle of the great stars in Saudi Arabia, I looked at the sky and I thought, ‘I know that you see me where I stand, I know that you see where I am and what I do, and I am grateful to God and to you for motivating me and bringing me here.'”

Muhammad Ali, a boyhood hero of his, provides further inspiration for Usyk as he seeks to follow in the footsteps of heavyweight greats.

“A man who fought for what he believed in, fought for his rights, for his loved ones, for the rights of his people, for his faith. And everything he did it for the people, for the world,” said Usyk.

Sourse: skysports.com

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