Oleksandr Usyk has revealed that he thinks Tyson Fury was playing games against Francis Ngannou in order to lure him into a false sense of security ahead of their proposed match-up.
It’s fair to say no one predicted that the former MMA champion turned boxing novice, Ngannou, would present Fury, the Lineal and WBC champion, anywhere like the problems that he did when they squared off in Riyadh in October.
Ngannou boxed much more competently than his lack of ring experience would have suggested possible, and he even managed to secure a knockdown in the third round. The former UFC champion remained in the contest until the final bell at the end of the 10th round, at which point he was declared to be on the losing end of a split decision.
Former unified cruiserweight king turned WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Usyk has now submitted his own theory for the poor showing amongst plenty of other claims from boxers past and present.
Speaking to TNT Sports Boxing, he admitted he thinks Fury might have been sandbagging – intentionally looking below par in order to fool Usyk.
“It seems to me that it was Tyson’s plan to relax me. But I understand that I’ll have to work very hard in the ring in order to get the victory.”
Usyk then revealed what he told Fury in the ring after that fight with Ngannou.
“Mate, you need a proper rest now.”