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Tyson Fury refuses to stare down Oleksandr Usyk before heavyweight unification clash

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Published Time: 17.05.2024 - 00:40:16 Modified Time: 17.05.2024 - 00:40:16

Briton says he did not want to engage with the ‘scary looking dude’ he is ready to fight in heavyweight unification bout on Saturday Reuters/Andrew Couldridge Tyson Fury refused to stare into the eyes of Oleksandr Usyk on Thursday night in a tense stand-off, with few words spoken at their press conference as the two undefeated heavyweights prepared to do battle for the undisputed title on Saturday

Briton says he did not want to engage with the ‘scary looking dude’ he is ready to fight in heavyweight unification bout on Saturday

: Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Tyson Fury refused to stare into the eyes of Oleksandr Usyk on Thursday night in a tense stand-off, with few words spoken at their press conference as the two undefeated heavyweights prepared to do battle for the undisputed title on Saturday.

Mind games? Maybe. Yet both great fighters look ready for the first bell in the searing heat. Saudi Arabian investment – the purse is split with £116 million being shared – has made this mega-fight possible.

Fury, the WBC champion, showed Usyk his shoulder and looked out into a packed gallery of fans at Boulevard City, while his Ukrainian rival glared from the side. 

The Briton, dressed in a black Stetson like the WWE wrestler ‘The Undertaker’ and a waistcoat, and Usyk, in a white Cossack outfit, both look primed for the fight of their lives.

After leaving the stage as the pair were ushered their separate ways, Fury explained why he refused to stare his undisputed foe down. “He’s a scary looking dude,” he said. “I’m here to relax now and wait until Saturday night. All the talking is done.”

“Tyson is ready, 100 per cent ready and has nothing left to say,” his father John Fury told The Telegraph. 

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Before the face-off, it had been an evening of respect. Fury said: “I’m going to make it short and simple. I want to thank god for this victory I’ve got already. Thank Usyk for turning up and challenging me. Thank you to the fans who have come out to support me.

“God bless. I’m ready. Got nothing to say but I’m ready. God bless him and I’ll say a prayer to him that we go out in one piece and back to our families.” 

Bizarrely, Usyk sat on the news conference doodling. “What are you writing?” he was asked. “I’m doing my homework,” came the reply.

Earlier, there were mind games, with the Ukrainian and his team revealing they had an issue with the canvas under foot. Usyk’s team had raised a complaint around the seams that bring the canvas together, with Usyk unhappy with the feel of the canvas underfoot.

An identical canvas will be used on fight night when the pair meet in the ring and Usyk believes the seam choice could well be a hazard. 

The thickness of the foam under the canvas has been questioned before. It was Fury’s team who raised a similar issue 24 hours before his victory over Wladimir Klitschko in Germany in 2015. Fury had threatened to pull out.

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