Oleksandr Usyk is adamant that he does not fear Tyson Fury in the slightest, noting an exchange with him off-camera signifying his trash talk and threats are just showmanship.
The pair have been in official talks since December 2022 to set up an undisputed fight in the heavyweight division, putting the Ukrainians WBA, WBO, and IBF belts against Fury’s WBC.
Things were made official after Fury beat old friend – or foe, depending on the day – Derek Chisora and called Usyk out in front of a packed Wembley Stadium.
Undeterred, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion took to the ring and stared into Fury’s eyes as the Brit fired off insults in front of his home crowd. He called him ugly, a rabbit, a middleweight, and screamed in a pro-wrestling style about what he was going to do to him.
If it was clear Usyk was unfazed back then – he took a phone call in the middle of the live broadcast exchange – he’s made it clear now in an interview with Sky Sports.
The 36-year-old did an impression of Fury shouting at him before indicating that when the camera went off them, he shook his hand and wished him good luck. It’s this glimpse of the WBC champ that leads Usyk to laugh and call him ‘crazy’ rather than scary.
Sadly for fans, the face off is all that the promoters behind the scenes have been able to organise between the two so far. Despite fight negotiations beginning smoothly and at pace, things have faltered in recent weeks.
Saudi Arabia was first due to play host, but with that nation off the table and April 29 booked at Wembley, the pair are now reported to be renegotiating a purse split.