Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk officially announced a long-awaited undisputed heavyweight clash at a launch press conference this week.
The fight will see Fury put his WBC belt on the line against Usyk’s WBO, WBA and IBF to crown a sole champion in the division since Lennox Lewis before the turn of the millennium.
A grand setting in London was provided for the official date announcement – February 17 – with both teams in attendance and the chance to trade words formally.
Usyk, as always, didn’t say much. Through his promoter, Alex Krassyuk, he likened the contest to David and Goliath.
The Brit, on the other hand, was worked up and vocal – reeling off his favourite insults from sausage to rabbit to ‘ugly little man.’
“He’s getting knocked out … so remember that. Remember I said it on this stage … I’ve already relieved one Ukrainian of all the belts. And I’ll relieve that idiot of the belts I gave him.”
“I’m gonna bust him. Sausage. Ugly little man. Rabbit. You’re fighting the best British heavyweight that’s ever been. You beat the rest of him, but you ain’t beat Tyson Fury.”
“When you sleep at night, ugly man, you’re gonna think of me for the next eight weeks, cause I’m gonna punch your face in.”
The WBC Champion – who is fresh off a bruising win over Francis Ngannou – cut the face-off short when he pushed his head onto Usyk’s. Security held Fury back as he continued to hurl insults. His antics led some fans to claim that he was ‘rattled’ and his ‘head’s gone.’
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One said it sounded as if ‘The Gypsy King’ was trying to convince himself, and that Usyk’s relaxed persona would bode well come fight night.
Fury fans came to his defence, saying he was like this before every big fight, namely Wladimir Klitschko and his three with Deontay Wilder.
Whether the armchair psychology will play a part on February 17 remains to be seen.