In his first full sit-down interview since beating Anthony Joshua for a second time, three-belt heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk didn’t hold back in talking about the controversial post-fight temper tantrum thrown by the former champ and the idea that WBC champ Tyson Fury may step around a unification bout for a big-money showdown with Joshua.
"I thought, ‘What a poor fool.’ He [Joshua] reminded me of a little boy who wanted to play with a ball, but it was taken from him, so he decided to throw it over the neighbor’s fence," Usyk told USYK17 on YouTube.
When talking about Fury’s apparent preference for fighting Joshua rather than waiting on Usyk for a 4-belt unification, the Ukraine native could barely hold back his contempt.
"Despite his toughness and how he is generally described, he is afraid. Yes, of me," Usyk said.
"Well, if they sign the contract, they will punch each other for a while," Usyk said about a December Fury-Joshua fight in the UK. "But everyone is expecting Usyk vs. Fury.
"I will support neither of them; I won’t even watch this fight. I don’t want to. Okay, I’m just joking."
Back when Usyk scored his split decision victory over Joshua, the frustrated former champ acted up and caused a scene that was equal parts disappointing and disrespectful.
As I chronicled at the time for FightHype.com:
"Post-decision, Joshua held up the Ring Magazine and WBA belts and tossed them out of the ring in protest. He then bolted, clearly ticked off, and was on his way back to the dressing room before he turned back around, re-entered the ring and asked for the mic. He would proceed to deliver the most cringe-worthy post-fight mic work since Mike Tyson’s ‘I broke my back…My back is broken…Spinal.’
‘Usyk, one hell of a f**king fighter, let’s give him a round of applause. That’s just emotion…Look, if you knew my story, you would understand my passion,’ Joshua told a somewhat befuddled crowd at the Jeddah Superdome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. ‘I ain’t no f**king amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from a youth. I was going to jail…I got bail and started training my a** off, because if I got sentenced, I wouldn’t be able to fight…
‘The f**king passion we put into this shit, man. This guy, to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the levels of hard work he must have put in, so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world. Woo! Motherf**ker!
‘I’m not a 12-round fighter. Look at me! I’m a new breed of heavyweights. All them heavyweights– Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey. ‘Oh, you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano.’ ‘Cause I ain’t f**king’ 14 stone, that’s why! I’m 18 stone and I’m heavy! It’s hard work! This guy here is a phenomenal talent.’
It was a bizarre moment and very much a scene-stealer from a clearly put-off Usyk, who deserved the spotlight all by himself. Joshua showing this much passion, though, AFTER the fight and not so much DURING the fight was a thing that many, many observers pointed out."
Usyk is now resting, recovering, and contributing to the war efforts in Ukraine’s battle against an invading Russia. His next-fight options depend greatly on whether Fury and Joshua do actually fight and/or whether Fury wants to face him at all.
If Fury is not in the foreseeable future, Usyk has mentioned Deontay Wilder as a possible target. Possibly, Andy Ruiz could also fit into his plans. Fury-Usyk, however, is what most everyone would like to see. For now, we don’t know if that can be a reality.