Usyk urges 'unpredictable' Fury to agree on a fight date for 2023

‘I don’t want to fight anyone else until I have that fourth belt’: Oleksandr Usyk urges ‘unpredictable’ Tyson Fury to agree on a date for their undisputed bout in 2023 – and says he wants to face the Gypsy King in war-torn Kyiv

  • Oleksandr Usyk has put the heat on Tyson Fury in their undisputed fight talks  
  • The Ukrainian called him ‘unpredictable’ and urged him to agree a date in 2023 
  • Usyk vowed to claim Fury’s WBC belt and said the fight could happen in Kyiv  

Oleksandr Usyk has insisted he will only fight Tyson Fury next and has called on the ‘unpredictable’ world heavyweight champion to agree to a meeting during the first part of 2023.

The Ukrainian was last in the ring in August when he retained his WBA, IBF and WBO belts after a split-decision victory over Anthony Joshua in Jeddah.

Talks over an undisputed heavyweight contest with WBC-belt holder Fury took place immediately after Usyk’s success in Saudi Arabia, but the Briton will instead take on Derek Chisora at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next month.

Oleksandr Usyk (L) has urged ‘unpredictable’ Tyson Fury (R) to agree a 2023 fight date

It means the wait for all the titles to be on the line continues and, while Usyk is determined to fight Fury, his religious beliefs means they must get in the ring by March 4 or be prepared to wait until later in the year.

‘Right now my team is seeking conversations with Tyson Fury and he is really an unpredictable person so we can’t guarantee when,’ Usyk told the PA news agency at the Web Summit in Lisbon.

‘For me, the idea would be to fight maybe early February or beginning of March, like March 4, because I am an orthodox Christian.

‘During the great fasting before Easter I do not fight, so it should be all before or then after orthodox Easter (April 16).

The Ukrainian is seeking to add Fury’s WBC belt to his collection of three world titles 

He will first have to wait for Fury to face Dereck Chisoria next month before a 2023 showdown

‘I want to fight with Fury because I need the fourth belt and I don’t want to fight with anyone else until I have the fourth belt.’

Usyk was in Lisbon to speak alongside Parimatch Tech chief executive Maksym Liashko about the ongoing war in his country and the importance of highlighting the actions of Russia.

The 35-year-old insisted Ukrainian people would continue to ‘fight back against the aggressor and bully’ but raised the possibility of fighting for the world heavyweight titles in Kyiv.

He added: ‘The organisers are trying to figure out where they can earn more money.

‘For me, yes I would really like to fight in Ukraine and Ukraine is really capable of hosting this kind of fight.

Usyk – who outpointed Anthony Joshua in August – is eager to face Fury in his native Ukraine 

‘I would be really happy to see it happen in the Olympic Arena in Ukraine. But it is not me who chooses the venue so I guess it will (this time) be Saudi Arabia.’

Before Usyk can turn his attention to an eventual meeting with Fury, he will watch on with interest on December 3 when his rival does battle with veteran heavyweight Chisora.

It will be the third meeting between the British pair and the ex-cruiserweight questioned why it needed to take place.

‘I don’t know why he needs this fight,’ Usyk said.

‘Maybe he thinks because it would be one year without a fight, now he needs it. I think it is some manoeuvre because I don’t know why he needs this.’

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