Oleksandr Usyk is well aware that Tyson Fury is his perfect dance partner – and he believes that the Brit feels the same.
The pair have been in official negotiations since December of 2022, with more talks likely taking place even before then. Despite that, no fight has been announced.
With a date of April 29 pencilled in at Wembley Stadium, it’s believed that the final hurdle of the talks – given that there are no broadcast or promotional disputes – is centred on the purse split.
As his team do the business behind the scenes, Usyk told The Overlap that he and his potential opponent need the fight for their legacies in the sport of boxing.
“I just need this fight and that’s it. I think he needs it too. This fight is very important for us because all four belts haven’t been held by one person for 30 years in the heavyweight division.”
Usyk – the IBF, WBO, and WBA heavyweight champion – was then asked if he subscribed to the opinion that Fury’s size and strength may cause him problems. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t.
“This will be like any other fight. It’s just a big name who’s never lost before against a man who was the WBC belt. Of course it’s possible to get carried away, but this is a normal fight for the right to win all belts.
If a person is bigger than me, it doesn’t mean they’re stronger. If they have longer arms, if they have longer arms, it doesn’t mean that will be an advantage. I’ve been boxing since I was 15 years old.
During this time I’ve heard many opinions from people I know well or from people who I’ve met just once. 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.”
The talk from the Ukrainian is all well and good, but the fight first must be made – and that doesn’t seem like a given at this late stage.
Promoter Frank Warren’s latest update was to assure fans that all involved were still working hard to make it happen, but the clock is ticking louder than ever.