Oleksandr Usyk threw down a challenge to Britain’s Tyson Fury on Sunday to come out of retirement and fight him for the undisputed world heavyweight boxing title.
The Ukrainian made clear he was only interested in fighting Fury after out-pointing Britain’s Anthony Joshua for the second time to retain the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
WBC champion Fury announced in April he had promised his wife he would retire but has also declared an interest in fighting Joshua.
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren said this month that the “Gypsy King” was showing “itchy feet” and was keen to get back into the ring.
“I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet,” the Ukrainian told the crowd through a ringside interpreter when asked about a potential clash.
“I am convinced he wants to fight me. I want to fight him. And if I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.”
Fury posted an expletive-laden reaction to the fight on Twitter.
“It was one of the worst heavyweight title fights I have ever seen,” he said. “I would annihilate both of them on the same night … the Gypsy King is here to stay forever.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn paid tribute to Usyk, saying he would have scored the fight 115-113 to the 35-year-old Ukrainian.
“He’s too good and there’s no shame in it,” he said.
“They are both tremendous fighters,” added Hearn when asked how the champion would stack up against Fury. “I’m not sure anyone can beat Oleksandr Usyk.
Tyson Fury’s a clever man. He had the chance to fight him and chose not to. Will he come out of retirement? Good luck to both of them.”(Reuters/NAN)