Oleksandr Usyk is laser-focused on becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion this month, the one man standing in his way being Tyson Fury.
The Ukrainian puts his WBA, WBO and IBF belts on the line against Fury’s WBC in Riyadh on February 17, and, as he puts the final touches on his physical preparation, it’s expected the Brit will attempt to get in his head on fight week.
Usyk, though, told the Ring Magazine that he is too mentally tough for such games, and he has his own surprises for Fury come fight night.
“I really don’t think about Tyson Fury. I don’t look at the way he acts and what he does. Most of his opponents fell for it. I don’t. For me, I focus on how I am, and how I prepare for when I go into the ring. Me and my trainer have watched his fights. We are preparing for everything. We have to watch what he is doing. I don’t care about what Fury thinks about me. He can underestimate. He can overestimate me. I don’t care. I have my plans for him. I have advantages over him that he does not know about.”
The unified champion, who was previously undisputed at cruiserweight, has been supporting the troops of Ukraine against Russia for years now, and takes motivation from the fact that he has a country on his shoulders.
“Every morning when I get up at five to run, the first thing I think about is my country and my people. I think about our people that are fighting on the front lines and the sacrifices they are making for me and my family. I am going right back to Ukraine after the fight. I love my people. I want to give them joy in winning. I am fighting for an entire nation. Tyson Fury fights for himself.”