Oleksandr Usyk has revealed he is interested in fighting Deontay Wilder – despite insisting his only options were an undisputed fight or retirement.
Usyk outpointed Anthony Joshua last month to retain his three heavyweight world titles, a result which saw fellow champion Tyson Fury come out of ‘retirement’ to begin negotiations for a super-fight. The clash is expected to take place in February after a date in December was ruled out.
After his win, Usyk said: “I am sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet. I am convinced he wants to fight me. I want to fight him and if I am not fighting Tyson Fury, I am not fighting at all. Only God knows whether I will fight him or not, but all these gentlemen here around me, my team, they are going to help me.”
But yesterday, the Ukrainian opened the door to a fight with hard-hitting Wilder who returns to the ring against Robert Helenius in October. The American has not fought since he was stopped by Fury in their trilogy fight last year, and has not won a fight for almost three years.
“We’ll see. I don’t want to make empty statements,” Usyk said. “Look, I’m just not interested… I could still box with Tyson Fury or with [Deontay] Wilder, but that’s where my interest ends.” And of a meeting with Fury, he added: “It won’t happen this year, that’s for sure,” said Usyk. “As I said earlier at the presser, I’m totally healthy and don’t have any injuries, but I have old traumas which have resurfaced, and which need to be treated. I will need up to two months to recuperate.”
Fury took to social media with a typically reserved response to Usyk’s claim about needing time to recover, screaming: “Usyk, middleweight, you say you want the WBC and it’s held by gypsies. It is held by gypsies, it’s held by the ‘Gypsy King’ and it’s held tightly, grasped tight and all roads lead to a seven-foot behemoth who will absolutely destroy you, middleweight.
“Middleweight, you will get smashed to bits. You said you wanted to fight me after you beat the bodybuilder (Joshua), called me out on television and now you’re being a little b**** p**** boy running, hiding, saying you’ve got injuries. You ain’t got no injuries, you had a sparring contest. Get out and fight in December, you let your mouth go, now back it up.
“Let’s see if you can back it up, middleweight. It doesn’t matter if it’s December or April or August next year, the outcome will be the same; I will obliterate you. I’m a seven-foot, 20-stone behemoth and I will destroy you, middleweight.”