By: Sean Crose
WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk has made it clear he wants to fight Tyson Fury in order to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Fury, after all, is the WBC and lineal heavyweight champion of the world. Usyk is well aware that, in order to be king of the heavyweight hill, he first has to get through Fury. Hence, his desire to meet the towering Englishman in the ring. Usyk’s last fight was an impressive second win over Anthony Joshua, the man he won his heavyweight titles from a year earlier. As for Fury, he was last seen in the ring decimating long time contender Dillian Whyte.
“Right now my team is seeking conversations with Tyson Fury,” Usyk said in Libson during a Web Summit, “and he is really an unpredictable person, so we can’t guarantee when.” At the moment, Fury is set to fight another longtime contender, Derek Chisora next month in England. It will be the third fight between the two men. Fury won the first and second, and has people wondering he’s fighting Chisora again. Fury, on the other hand, presumably wants to keep busy after negotiations for a mega fight with Joshua recently fell through.
“For me, the idea would be to fight maybe early February or the beginning of March, like March 4,” Usyk said, “because I am an orthodox Christian.” What that means is that the devout Usyk’s time for an early 2023 fight is limited. “During the great fasting before Easter I do not fight,” said Usyk, “so it should be all before or then after orthodox Easter.” Orthodox Easter will be on April 16th of next year. Although it’s easy to understand why Usyk wants to face Fury sooner rather than later, he went ahead and made his reasoning clear.
“I want to fight with Fury because I need the fourth belt,” he said, “and I don’t want to fight with anyone else until I have the fourth belt.” For what it’s worth, Usyk believes the Fury-Chisora fight is ridiculous. “I don’t know why he needs this fight,” he said. There’s little doubt, however, that Fury has something in common with Usyk – the desire to become undisputed. The legendary Lennox Lewis was the last man to enjoy being the unquestioned heavyweight champ. There hasn’t been an undisputed champion in the heavyweight division since 2000 – over 22 years ago. Suffice to say, it’s been a while.
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