Tyson Fury refuses to face-off with Oleksandr Usyk as row breaks out over ring

Tyson Fury dodged a face-off with Oleksandr Usyk as a dispute broke out over the ring conditions for their upcoming undisputed heavyweight world title clash this Saturday (May 18).

The Gypsy King is set to duke it out with Usyk in Saudi Arabia, aiming to become the division’s first four-belt champion. Despite Usyk appearing calm at their second-to-last meeting, Fury chose to gaze into the crowd instead.

He angled his body towards the former cruiserweight king but didn’t lock eyes.

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Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk
Tyson Fury refused to face-off with Oleksandr Usyk

Fury kept it brief during the final press conference, avoiding questions and stating, “I’m going to make this short and simple,” before adding, “I’m ready for a fight, whether it’s tough or easy, I’ll be ready. God Bless Usyk, I’ll say a prayer for him that we both go home to our families in one piece because that’s what it’s all about.”

Tensions rose earlier when Usyk’s camp voiced concerns over the ring’s canvas after both fighters had a workout session on Wednesday. Usyk, known for his slick moves, even threw a curveball by switching to an orthodox stance during practice, reports the Mirror.

Fury and Usyk
It appears Fury has started with his mind games

Watch Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk
Watch Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk live on May 18

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are set to lock horns in a huge clash this month with each fighter attempting to etch their names in boxing history as the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 1999. The stakes couldn’t be higher as the pair will go head to head for the prestigious WBC, WBA, WBO, and IBF titles.

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However, his team later expressed worries that the canvas’ seams might trip up the fighters, potentially turning the bout into a stumbling match.

Usyk, however, didn’t directly address the issue, instead expressing his excitement for the upcoming fight: “I’m excited and I’m grateful for this fight to be happening. Let’s make history. Tyson, let your hands talk in the ring.”

Usyk suggests that Fury’s nerves are showing through his slimmed-down physique, although the British boxer brushed off any suggestions of him hitting a career-low weight for the big bout.

“I’ll tell you my weight, it’s about 19-stone. I wish I was [240/250lb] but I’m around 19-stone. I’ve been in good shape, I’ve had two or three camps back to back. People say to me all the time ‘You’re looking skinny’ but I’m weighing the exact same on the scales I’ve been using for the last 10 years,” Fury stated.

The Gypsy King’s recent body reveal didn’t impress fans, with critics advising him to ‘lose the love handles’, despite appearing fit. Fury will have a significant size advantage over Usyk, who has consistently weighed in at around 220lb for all five of his heavyweight fights since graduating from cruiserweight.