Oleksandr Usyk seems to have his sights set on stepping away from boxing after his two contracted fights with Tyson Fury.
Usyk is one of the most decorated fighters still lacing up the gloves. Following a stellar amateur career, the skilled Ukrainian held the undisputed crown at cruiserweight and is now looking to emulate Evander Holyfield and become only the second man ever to hold all the belts at heavyweight too.
The 36-year-old will get his shot when he faces the current WBC champion, Fury, early next year.
The two were scheduled to meet on December 23, but ‘The Gypsy King’ suffered more wear and tear than expected when he gained a hard-earned split decision victory against boxing debutant and former UFC champion, Francis Ngannou.
Fury and Usyk now look set to battle it out in February in Saudi Arabia. The clash – which has a contractual rematch clause for the loser to activate – will crown the first undisputed king of the division since Lennox Lewis over twenty years ago.
Many have speculated that, with little left to add to their legacies, either man could walk away from the sport after the fight.
In an interview with ESNEWS Usyk gave the biggest hint yet that he’ll be calling it a day and moving to a new sport after the Fury fights.
‘I win [against Fury] and then I go and play football. I have contract signed with the number 1 football team [in Ukraine].”
It’s assumed the club Usyk is referring to is Ukrainian Premier League team FC Polissya, who he came on a substitute for in a winter break friendly win over Veres last year.
With plenty of big money fights against the likes of Deontay Wilder still an option for the unified champion, whether he’ll end up swapping his boxing gloves for football boots remains to be seen.