Okeksander Usyk: If Tyson cancels the fight again, I will fight anyone

It seems that the Ukrainian is tired of waiting for this historic match, and we all hope that Fury will be ready on May 18 and that there will be no further extension

by Sededin Dedovic
Okeksander Usyk: If Tyson cancels the fight again, I will fight anyone
© Francois Nel / Getty Images

One of arguably the two best boxers currently in the heavyweight division, Oleksandr Usyk, faces perhaps the biggest challenge of his career - a fight against Tyson Fury for the absolute crown in the royal division. In an exclusive interview, he reveals his thoughts on this epic clash and whether his victory over the "Gypsy King" will bring him immortality in the world of boxing.

Olympic gold winner, Usyk exceeded all expectations. He triumphed in the cruiserweight division and became only the third fighter in history to win the belt up to 90 kg (198 pounds) in the heavyweight division, defeating the then champion Anthony Joshua and entering the elite club.

Even though he was a relatively well-known and respectable fighter even then, after this match with AJ, he received the recognition of the wider boxing community and his popularity rose sharply.

Anthony Joshua punches Oleksandr Usyk during the Rage on the Red Sea Heavyweight Title Fight at King Abdullah Sports City Arena © Francois Nel / Getty Images

Now his focus is on Fury.

He wants to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis, who achieved this in 1999. Usyk and Fury were supposed to fight on February 17, but Fury suffered a cut in training and the bout was postponed, adding to the tension in this already electrifying clash.

Usyk called Fury deliberately avoiding the match, and many analysts and boxing critics agreed with that opinion. The new date has been set, and Usyk, speaking to Boxing Social, reveals his ambitions for this fight and answers the key question: is the match with Fury key to winning the title of "best of all time"? "I will fight on May 18 and my sacrifices in training will not be in vain.

I am glad that Fury has recovered quickly and is back in the ring, but if he retires again, I am ready to fight any challenger that the WBC decides. I have to to fight for the undisputed title of champion in the heavyweight division," emphasizes Usyk.

Fury-Usyk, scheduled for May 18 in Saudi Arabia, promises an incredibly exciting fight in the heavyweight division. Usyk, known for his precision and tactical wisdom, faces Fury's impressive height and strength. This fight will crown the absolute champion, and the winner will write his name forever in the history of boxing.

We have been waiting for this match for a long time, and we hope that this last date will be really right and that there will be no health or other obstacles to holding this match.

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk face off during the Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk Press Conference at Outernet London on November 16© Alex Pantling / Getty Images

Usyk vs Fury will be a fight of epic proportions.

It's not just about winning the belts, but also about fighting for immortality because the winner will unify all the belts. While Usyk is waiting for this fight, it seems that this match will have some special rules when it comes to referees.

The president of the World Boxing Council (WBC), Mauricio Sulaiman, is proposing a radical change in judging for the absolute world heavyweight championship match between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury. His idea: greatly increase the number of judges from three to even six.

"The events of the past week in Saudi Arabia have shown once again how unstable judging in boxing around the world is," Sulaiman told BoxingScene. The statement refers to the match for the WBC featherweight belt where Rey Vargas managed to retain the title with a controversial draw against Nick Ball.

Ball scored knockdowns in the 8th and 11th rounds, yet the judges were divided in their assessments. One judge saw a draw (113-113), while the other two judges differed: 114-112 in favor of Vargas and 116-110 in favor of Ball.

"Each judge experienced the fight differently. Such a controversy in the Fury vs. Usyk match would be disastrous for boxing," Sulaiman stressed. He therefore sent an urgent petition to the WBO, WBA, IBF, as well as Fury, Usyk and their promoters, seeking their approval for a change in judging.

He proposes six referees for this historic match. It remains unclear if Sulaiman wants to have six referees for this specific match, or if it becomes the norm in the future to avoid equal scoring. The goal is to eliminate the impact of bad or controversial scorecards.

On the other hand, the traditional odd number of referees, which is commonly used to avoid draws, would also disappear. "Fights, especially those at the highest level, deserve fairness. That's why I send this proposal to all boxing organizations, promoters and fighters," said Sulaiman.

So far, he hasn't received any answers from either Fury, the current WBC champion, or Usyk, the former WBC champion and former undefeated cruiserweight champion. Sulaiman has been speaking publicly about this topic for a long time, but his initiative has still not met with the support of the leading boxing bodies and the teams of Fury and Usyk.

Although a larger number of judges may mean more relevant scoring, an even number of judges would lead to tied matches that would have to be regulated in some other way.