Oleksandr Usyk sets Tyson Fury March 4 deadline for undisputed heavyweight title blockbuster
TYSON FURY has been given a taste of his own medicine after being given a deadline to sign a contract for a fight against Oleksandr Usyk.
The Gypsy King called off a December bout with Anthony Joshua after claiming AJ missed the deadline to sign off the showdown.
And now unified heavyweight champ Usyk, 35, is setting deadlines of his own to the “unpredictable” Fury.
The Ukrainian has said the fight must happen before March 4 otherwise it will have to wait until later in the year.
Usyk is a devout Orthodox Christian and fasts over the Easter period – so a fight after March 4 in the run up to the festival is off the cards.
Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter 2023 on April 16, so a fight in the weeks immediately after that date isn’t a possibility either.
But a mouthwatering undisputed clash before March 4 could be a tight turnaround for Fury, who faces Derek Chisora on December 3.
Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Usyk told PA: “Right now my team is in conversations with Tyson Fury, and he is a really unpredictable person, so we can’t guarantee when.
“For me, the idea would be to fight maybe early February or the beginning of March, like March 4, because I am an orthodox Christian.
“During the great fasting before Easter I do not fight, so it should be all before or then after orthodox Easter.”
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Usyk has ruled out the prospect of facing someone other than Fury next, claiming the quest for undisputed heavyweight glory is the only thing on his mind.
He also revealed that war-torn Ukraine could potentially host the showdown, but Saudi Arabia remains a more likely destination.
Usyk continued: “I want to fight with Fury because I need the fourth belt, and I don’t want to fight with anyone else until I have the fourth belt.
“For me, I would really like to fight in Ukraine. The country is really capable of hosting this kind of fight.
“I would be really happy to see it happen in the Olympic Arena in Ukraine. But it is not me who chooses the venue so I guess it will (this time) be Saudi Arabia.”
Usyk also aimed a dig at Fury for taking on old rival Chisora for a third time later this year.
He declared: “I don’t know why he needs this fight.”
“Maybe he thinks because it would be one year without a fight, now he needs it. I think it is some manoeuvre because I don’t know why he needs this.”
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