Tyson Fury has made his intentions clear: He plans to fight compatriot Anthony Joshua in December rather than wait for a showdown against Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
Now it’s Usyk’s turn to act. He said RingTV.com that he wanted to fight the winner of the next match, Deonty Wilder-Robert Helenius.
Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) was stopped in the second and third fights with Fury but was still dangerous because of his punching power. Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) will have head-to-head decisions against Joshua.
“Wilder is a dangerous boxer, and that fight will most likely take place in the United States,” said Usyk, who plans to start for Wilder-Helenius in Brooklyn.
Fury was supposed to take on Usyk to unify all four major heavyweight titles but went in a different direction, in part because he understood that Usyk wouldn’t be able to debut until next year. The British player did not want to wait that long to return to the ring.
However, Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, seemed to point out that wasn’t true when he said, “Usyk wants to fight Fury later this year.” Fury probably also sees the all-British showdown with Joshua as a more lucrative event.
Usyk clearly doesn’t think much of his opponent’s decisions.
“I’m not upset at all,” he said. “The bigger problem is that Tyson Fury is not showing fans one of the greatest fights in boxing history. It was his fault. Not mine. So I’m not upset at all. Tyson Fury can fight anyone he wants to fight.
“From the point of view of sportsmanship, of course not [that Fury isn’t fighting him]. “
Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, said his client had no choice but to go after another competitor rather than wait to face the winner of the showdown in December for a Fury-Joshua bout. could lead to another battle.
Plus, Klimas doesn’t want his clients chasing Fury.
“What happens when Joshua hits his ass?” Klimas said. “What’s going to happen next? They’re going to go to a rematch, which will push back the chances of having the undisputed world champion. I think Fury is most likely afraid of Usyk. Why is he running? Why? Because Fury sees danger in Usyk.
“Usyk wants to fight Fury later this year. You know, we’re not running after him. We have three belts. He has a belt. Who cares? It was a situation that Fury created. Not Usik. “
Klimas also doesn’t know when to take Fury seriously.
“Usyk is the heavyweight world champion and look how many statements Fury has made over the past few months,” Klimas said. “He’s retired, he’s not retiring, he’s fighting Usyk, he’s not Usyk,. And now he’s fighting Joshua. You really don’t know what Fury will do next.
“If you look at his past in terms of everything that happened, Fury has always caused problems when it comes to being the undisputed world champion. He is unpredictable.”
And Klimas took another stab at Fury.
“Usyk wants to fight Wilder, but whoever wins that fight will be next for Usyk,” he said. “Usyk is not like Fury. He’s looking for winners, not losers.”