Usyk 'hopes' Fury unification fight can take place in February

Oleksandr Usyk hopes Tyson Fury heavyweight unification fight can take place in February but says he will ‘only be sure’ the bout happens when he ‘hears the sound of the bell’… as he makes surprise admission about the Gypsy King

  • Oleksandr Usyk hopes unification fight with Tyson Fury takes place in February
  • Ukrainian WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion says he loves ‘incredible’ Fury 
  • Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk fight details out THIS WEEK: Listen to The Hook

Oleksandr Usyk has said he wants his heavyweight unification fight against Tyson Fury to take place in February 2024.

After finally agreeing to take each other on to unify the five heavyweight belts for the first time, a bout was initially scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia on December 23.

However, Fury’s unconvincing victory against former MMA champion Francis Ngannou left him with a black eye and a split forehead. 

Fury was knocked to the floor in the early stages of what was dubbed the ‘Battle of the Baddest’, and he will now have more time to recover before putting his WBC belt on the line when he faces Usyk. 

It is a situation the Ukrainian is comfortable with, as he told SNTV: ‘I want this fight to happen. We were supposed to fight on December 23, but we saw what happened. But the fact that it is postponed is no problem for me.

Oleksandr Usyk has said he hopes his heavyweight unification fight against Tyson Fury can take place in February

WBC champion Fury has been given extra time to recover from his bruising split-decision victory against Francis Ngannou in the ‘Battle of the Baddest’

‘I’m not 100 per cent sure [the fight will happen in February]. I will only be sure when I am in the ring… Only when I hear the sound of the bell will I understand that the game is on.’

Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk told Mail Sport’s The Hook podcast that there would be an announcement of the date of their fight this week.

Krassyuk then shared that the camp were happy to give Fury extra time to prepare to face off with the Ukrainian in a bid to give fans the best possible spectacle.

‘It depends on how he’s gonna spend this time,’ Krassyuk said. ‘If it brings him to a better shape and better spirit, then definitely yes.

‘But we remember Tyson after he defeated (Wladimir) Klitschko and was supposed to fight in the rematch, he spent his time, let’s say, not in the best manner.’

Usyk, who was ringside in Riyadh to see Fury claim victory by split decision, celebrated his own hard-fought victory in August against Daniel Dubois. 

The 36-year-old was left on the canvas for more than four minutes after taking a hit from British fighter Dubois that was controversially ruled a low blow. 

However, Usyk’s determination to continue dominating the heavyweight division has not been dulled.

He said: ‘I have an incredible motivation and I am hungry. I am not motivated by money.

‘I have chased this for 20 years and I think in February we will hear the bell.’ 

Usyk was in Riyadh to watch Fury eventually come out on top against former UFC champion Ngannou

Fury and Usyk were seen embracing prior to the ‘Battle of the Baddest’ last month

Fury has previously labelled Usyk a ‘sausage’ and there has been uncertainty about whether a fight between the pair would ever take place. 

But they shared an embrace in Saudi Arabia following Fury’s win against Ngannou, and Usyk has, somewhat surprisingly, admitted he has plenty of admiration for his rival.

‘I love this incredible person,’ he said in reference to Fury. ‘As a human being, I feel no hostility towards him. 

‘I simply love people, including Tyson Fury.’ 

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