Tyson Fury says he will fight Oleksandr Usyk in a world heavyweight title unification showdown early next year.
The Gypsy King beat his old British rival Derek Chisora in 10 one-sided rounds to retain his WBC belt at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night. And Fury immediately called out Usyk, who was ringside in north London, yelling: “You’re next you little b***h. Let’s get it on.”
Later Fury said the bout with Ukrainian Usyk, the reigning IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA champion, will probably take place in Saudi Arabia in February or March.
Plan B, Fury revealed, is Britain’s Joe Joyce, who holds the WBO interim heavyweight title and was also present at the Spurs ground.
“I’m ready and willing to take on Usyk next,” said Fury. “Let’s give the fans one champion, one name, one face. Usyk’s ready for the challenge. He came over tonight so fair play to him. I’m really looking forward to the challenge. But if for whatever reason — sometimes the big fights don’t happen — then we’ll have Joe Joyce at Wembley. But provided Usyk does happen then I’ll have him and then do Joe Joyce at Wembley. Why not?”
Fury (34) was clearly alluding to his attempts to meet Usyk and Anthony Joshua this year, both of which fell through. Chisora was instead parachuted for a third bout with Fury, having lost both their previous meetings in 2011 and 2014.
Thus, the trilogy fight that British heavyweight boxing never knew it needed had been a hard sell, especially during a World Cup. Chisora, after all, had lost seven of his 20 fights since that second defeat to Fury and turns 39 later this month.
By the ninth round, the constant punishment was really starting to tell with a weary Chisora sporting a bad cut under an eye and spitting blood. He went out on his shield, though, with referee Victor Loughlin putting Chisora out of his misery in the 10th.
It was a valiant but ultimately futile attempt by the challenger, who would have become the fifth-oldest heavyweight champion if he had caused an upset, but he will at least take a decent paycheque into what looks a likely retirement.
“I’ve got to tip my hat to Derek Chisora because he’s an absolute warrior and he took a lot of heavy punches,” added Fury. “Maybe they left him in too long. I was very happy when the referee stopped it. He’d taken enough. We’re not in there to do serious damage to each other. It’s a boxing match.”
The event was not a sell-out but, nevertheless, almost 60,000 hardy souls braved the icy December weather to be in attendance.
“I was overwhelmed, 60,000 people here, in December,” said Fury. “People were saying this fight won’t sell, it will be a terrible fight. But guess what, it did sell, and it was a good fight.”