Tyson Fury’s antics may not be achieving what he thinks it is achieving.
Oleksandr Usyk, the unified WBO, WBA, IBO, IBF heavyweight champion from Ukraine, has been more or less nonplussed by Fury, the WBC titlist, and his litany of threats and insults.
The two are projected to face each other sometime next year in what will determine the undisputed heavyweight champion.
Boxing fans got a preview of the disparate personalities in the immediate aftermath of Fury’s dominant stoppage over Derek Chisora at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London earlier this month. During their off-the-cuff face-off in the ring, Fury barked at the Ukrainian, hurling one aspersion after another, while Usyk remained placid and stone-faced.
In a recent interview, Usyk indicated that he is hardly bothered by Fury’s incessant trashtalking, which has included lurid accusations of steroid use.
“Someone says it’s better to not understand what Fury’s saying,” Usyk said in a video posted on his YouTube channel, USYK17. “But I understand everything. I just don’t pay any attention.”
“Such a thing (trashtalking affecting his training) doesn’t motivate me,” Usyk continued. “Fury’s hurling insults at me, but I know what to do in the ring. If I pay attention to anybody who’s trying to offend me I will feed my anger. Rage doesn’t help when fighting, otherwise it worsens the condition.”
Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, has been adamant ever since he defeated Anthony Joshua for the second straight time in September that Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) is his top target. The southpaw Usyk understands, however, that he may be the clear underdog in that fight — not that that bothers him.
“I’m motivated by an opportunity to fight this giant,” Usyk said of Fury. “Though there are some people who are not so optimistic in their assessment of my chances, it has no matter for me. I’m doing my job, I choose my way as a samurai does. The way consists of many objectives, but the essence is your way you have to make.”