Oleksandr Usyk believes he will meet Tyson Fury next to unify the heavyweight division – suggesting he will retire from boxing if that fight is not made.
The undefeated Ukrainian saw off a spirited performance from Anthony Joshua to seal a split decision win in their rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
Usyk successfully defended the IBF, WBO and WBA belts he took from Joshua in London last September, adding the Ring Magazine title, vacated by Fury last week, to his collection in Jeddah.
Despite repeatedly insisting he is retired from boxing after his stunning knockout win over Dillian Whyte in April, Fury still holds he WBC title.
And Usyk is confident Fury will not be able to resist the opportunity to come back and meet him a fight to crown the heavyweight division’s first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.
‘I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet. I’m convinced that he wants to fight me,” Usyk said after his victory. I want to fight him and if I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.’
Enjoying the fight from home, Fury delivered a rather blunt assessment of Usyk and Joshua’s performances before signalling his intent to return to the ring and fight the undefeated Ukrainian.
‘After watching that, both of them were s***e,’ Fury said in an audio recording shared on Twitter. ‘It was one of the worst heavyweight title fights I’ve ever seen. It was bulls***. It was f***ing s****. I would annihilate both on the same night. Get your chequebook out. Because The Gypsy King is here to stay forever.’
Following his defeat, Joshua appeared to throw Usyk’s WBA and Ring Magazine titles to the floor before storming out of the ring. Upon his return, the Briton delivered a passionate speech to the crowd where he congratulated Usyk on a number of occasions.
Joshua’s behaviour was branded disrespectful by many boxing pundits, however, including former super-middleweight champion Carl Froch.
‘When he got the mic, he stole Usyk’s moment,’ Froch told Sky Sports. ‘Let’s not get too mad, he didn’t say anything that would’ve offended anyone too much, he was just trying to speak off the cuff, put his heart on his sleep and hopefully he didn’t offend anybody.
‘But he did steal Usyk’s moment. It was a bit strange, I think he was so emotionally built up to win that fight, then the way in which he lost. I thought it was a great performance, let’s about the performance in a minute, I don’t think that’ll do him any damage.
‘I didn’t like the way the belts got thrown. That Ring Magazine got chucked down there, I never had that belt and I just don’t like that, that’s disrespectful.’
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