Tyson Fury admitted Wednesday that he was “absolutely wounded” when he watched Oleksandr Usyk knock off Anthony Joshua on Saturday night in London.
Fury obviously had hoped Joshua would win, so that their incomparably lucrative heavyweight championship showdown would’ve remained a possibility after Fury faces Deontay Wilder a third time October 9 in Las Vegas. If Fury defeats Wilder again, he’ll have to find another opponent for his first fight of 2022 because Ukraine’s Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) and England’s Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) are contractually committed to an immediate rematch that promoter Eddie Hearn intends to put together for February or March somewhere in the United Kingdom.
As much money as Joshua’s 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat could’ve cost him, Fury refused to criticize his British rival Wednesday when he asked about Joshua’s loss during a Zoom conference call with a group of reporters.
Fury emphasized that he is fully focused on fighting the ever-dangerous Wilder a third time and hadn’t taken too much time to reflect on how Joshua’s loss impacted his bottom line.
“I can’t be thinking about what happened in other fights,” Fury said. “I can only think about me. I know it’s selfish, but it’s a very selfish game that I’m in. So, I haven’t really thought about Usyk or Joshua. One thing I will say, though, while everyone’s listening, is I’ve got no interest in slating anybody, you know, or kicking anybody while they’re down. It ain’t my style. I like to pick on someone who’s doing well, successful, on top of the game. I don’t like picking on people who are down and probably at their lowest point and probably mentally unstable or unwell, when they’ve lost after such a long reign.
“So, you know, Usyk done his job. He had to do what he had to do. And that’s that. And Joshua’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. But like I said, none of my real business. Can’t say I’m interested because I’ve got ‘The Bronze Bomber’ to deal with. And then whoever’s next, we’ll deal with them, just like I’ve done my other 31 opponents I’ve already faced.”
When asked later during the conference call to assess Usyk as a heavyweight champion, Fury didn’t divulge much about an unbeaten southpaw who beat Joshua on all three scorecards to win the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (117-112, 116-112, 115-113).
“He did his job … and that’s all I know,” Fury said. “He won his fight. Good luck to him. There’s not much to express. Did I watch the fight? Yes, I did. Was I absolutely wounded that he won? Yes, I was. I was hoping Joshua could win the fight, but he couldn’t, and that’s none of my business.”
Manchester’s Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) is consistently listed as a 3-1 favorite to beat Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in their 12-round fight for Fury’s WBC crown. Their third bout will headline a four-fight joint pay-per-view venture between ESPN and FOX Sports from T-Mobile Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.