Oleksandr Usyk is set to challenge Anthony Joshua for his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles on Saturday night, but he has shared a round trip with Tyson Fury in the past.
The respectful Ukrainian is not known for chatting with his opponents and the preparation for this week’s AJ fight has been quite cordial.
In 2018, before moving to the division, Usyk gave this assessment of the best heavyweights.
“I like Joshua better because he doesn’t talk a lot,” he told SecondsOut, “I don’t like boxers who talk too much.”
When asked who he hoped to win against Deontay Wilder and Fury, Usyk added: “I wish they both hit each other at the same time and fell together.”
Fast forward 12 months and Usyk had arrived among the heavyweights.
Fury reacted to CBS: “I don’t think much about [Usyk]. It never enters the brain waves.
“I could probably beat Usyk with an arm tied behind his back and I’ll let you choose which one you want me to fight with, left or right.”
“Either way, that would be good night.
Usyk responded with a subtle jibe about Fury’s 2019 fights against Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin: “He does a great job staying active.
“Some guys think of themselves as really great and only want to fight big names.
“This guy doesn’t really care about his opponent’s name. If it makes him money and he stays active, that’s great I think.
In early 2020, the pair had another brief exchange when the WBO chose to install Usyk at the top of their heavyweight rankings.
Fury weighed in on the issue after seeing the WBO president suggest he should face prospect Bakhodir Jalolov.
The ‘Gypsy King’ replied, “Maybe if you hadn’t taken me out of the number one ranked WBO and put on some cruiserweight butt with a heavyweight fight. [instead], then you could have your say! Haha. “
Usyk responded by poking fun at the Briton via his Instagram story.
He just said, “Tyson isn’t crying. # 1 WBO.
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