WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will not be fully convinced that his undisputed fight with WBC king Tyson Fury will actually take place - until the two of them are in the ring.

The two sides were in talks earlier this year for an April showdown. The discussions fell apart when the unbeaten champions were unable to agree on the monetary terms for the rematch.

A deal was eventually reached for a fight on December 23 in Saudi Arabia.

Before that fight could take place, Fury went forward with a non-title crossover boxing match last month with MMA veteran Francis Ngannou, who was making his pro debut.

Everyone expected a one-sided bout - but instead the contest was very competitive, and Fury took more damage than expected in winning a close ten round split decision.

Fury went down in the third round, suffered a cut on his forehead and also sustained a badly bruised eye.

Because of how that contest played out, Fury was forced to delay the undisputed fight to early next year.

The event is now targeted for the month of February, but Usyk is not convinced it will actually take place.

"I´m not 100% sure. I will be sure when I´m the ring," Usyk said to the AP. "I will stand in one corner, Tyson Fury will stand in the opposite corner, between us a referee in a white shirt, and only when I hear the sound of a bell - that´s when I´ll understand that yes, the game is on.

"I want this to work out, I want this fight to happen. The fact that it is postponed is no problem to me. I´m satisfied. I don't care about material things. I care for the path I follow."

During the last few months, Fury has unloaded an arsenal of verbal jabs in Usyk's direction, but the Ukrainian fighter has not taken any of the statements personally.

"I heard so many insults about myself, that at some point I started flipping them over and making them my achievements," Usyk said.

"I love this incredible person. As a human being I feel no hostility towards him. I simply love people, including Tyson Fury."