Boxing News 247 reports that after bursting into rap at the London press conference ahead of his WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight title defence against WBA mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois, Oleksandr Usyk was asked what he thinks of the recently announced Tyson Fury Vs. Francis Ngannou clash.
Usyk, like so many of us, is critical of Fury for taking this fight and not a defence against a top 10 opponent in a real fight instead. Once again, Usyk was asked if he believes Fury is afraid of him. “This is a great opportunity for Francis Ngannou. For Tyson Fury, it’s definitely not,” Usyk said to Sky Sports. “Doesn’t it seem strange that instead of choosing a top 10 guy, Tyson Fury’s choosing a guy who has never boxed before? Yeah, of course (he’s afraid of me). Of course. Greedy belly is afraid of me.” The question of whether Fury is actually afraid of Usyk will continue to be asked in some quarters until the day comes when the two rival heavyweight champions get it on and fight.
But will this day ever come? Let’s be real, the Usyk-Fury fight, for all the marbles, should have happened by now, back in April. But the fight fell apart (you have your belief on why and on who was responsible, as do all fight fans) and instead we have Usyk fighting a stiff underdog in Dubois and we have Fury fighting a total boxing novice in Ngannou.
No wonder so many fight fans feel the heavyweight division of today is a weak, watered-down caricature of what it once was. We don’t know if Fury is afraid of Usyk, or if Fury’s afraid of any other fighter out there. We also do not know if Usyk actually believes it when he says Fury is afraid of him. All we know is we want to see the two men fight. The best against the best, champion against champion.
There is always next year, and we can but hope. It’s safe to say, though, how 2023 has been a disappointing one for the heavyweights. Maybe the year will end with a big bang courtesy of a super-fight or two in Saudi in December? Maybe.
By James Later for www.boxing247.com