Oleksandr Usyk apparently has no plans of riding off into the sunset if he cannot land an undisputed heavyweight title bout with Tyson Fury.
The IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA unified heavyweight champion from Ukraine informed the Ring that he was interested in fighting former heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder since it seems increasingly likely that his first choice, Fury, the WBC titlist, will be preoccupied with a fight with his countryman Anthony Joshua.
Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) had indicated immediately after his points win over Joshua in their rematch last month in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that he wanted to face Fury next or else he would think hard about retiring.
Not so, it seems.
Asked whom he would like to face instead of Fury, Usyk told the Ring, “Wilder.”
“Wilder is a dangerous fighter, and that fight would most likely be in the United States,” Usyk added.
Usyk also said he plans to be ringside for Wilder’s upcoming Oct. 15 fight against Robert Helenius at the Barclays Center in Brook, New York. The fight marks Wilder’s first fight since his 11th-round knockout loss to Tyson Fury nearly a year ago. Wilder is represented by Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions, while Usyk is backed by his longtime Ukrainian promoter Aleksandr Krassyuk. Usyk's relationship with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing ended with the last Joshua fight.
Usyk, who is currently back in his homeland of Ukraine, also said he harbored no ill feelings toward Fury.
“…I’m not pissed off at all [that Fury may skip him to fight Joshua],” Usyk said. “The bigger problem is Tyson Fury is not letting fans see one of the best historical bouts in boxing history. That’s his fault. Not mine. So, I’m not pissed off at all. Tyson Fury can fight whoever he wants to fight.”
Usyk, however, feels it is unsportsmanlike of Fury that he would rather go up against Joshua, the man Usyk just defeated, instead of competing against him for all the heavyweight belts.
“From the standpoint of sportsmanship, of course it’s not correct,” Usyk said.