Tyson Fury has vowed to halt Oleksandr Usyk’s quest for “total domination” in their undisputed heavyweight world championship showdown on February 17.
The hotly-anticipated clash between the WBC king and unified WBA, WBO and IBF title-holder Usyk was finally confirmed for early next year at a fiery press conference in London on Thursday.
Usyk has already vanquished Fury’s compatriots Derek Chisora, Anthony Joshua and, most recently, Daniel Dubois, but ‘The Gypsy King’ is adamant there is no way the Ukrainian can stop him when he aims to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis 24 years ago.
“There’s only me who stands in the way of him and total domination of Europe,” Fury told Sky Sports. “He’s beaten all of the British guys – Chisora, Joshua, Dubois – and there’s only me.
“I’m the dauntless in his waters, let’s just say that. They’ve got to pull out the long-range guns and we’ll see.
“If he beats me, which he can’t, there will be nothing which stands in his way of total domination. [He can’t beat me] because I’m ‘The Gypsy King’ – that’s enough.”
Confirmation that the pair would meet in Saudi Arabia to unify all of the titles in boxing’s glamour division for the first time since 1999 came one day after a heavyweight card featuring Joshua and one of Fury’s previous opponents, Deontay Wilder, was announced for December 23.
That show in Riyadh will see Joshua take on Otto Wallin, Wilder go up against Joseph Parker, along with Dubois facing Jarrell Miller plus Usyk’s mandatory IBF title challenger Filip Hrgovic fighting Mark De Mori.
Fury, who is coming off a split-decision win over former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia last month, hailed the strength of the heavyweight division and cryptically claimed to have been involved in putting the December 23 card together.
“It was only a month ago where it was a [bad] time to be a heavyweight and because of me all of these fights are happening,” Fury said. “I’m like the promoter of the heavyweight division now.
“I’m promoting the whole heavyweight division. They’re all working for me now, everybody – I’ve got them all under the ‘Gypsy King’ banner.
“Without me, they wouldn’t be working on December 23, that’s a fact. They’re all good fights, every one of them. I know every one of them, I was involved in putting all of them on.
“I can’t go too much into this on camera, but let’s just say I was heavily involved.”
Upcoming boxing events live on Sky Sports:
Shakur Stevenson vs Edwin De Los Santos (WBC lightweight)
Emanuel Navarrete vs Robson Conceicao (WBO super-featherweight)
Franck Petitjean vs Adam Azim (European super-lightweight)
Matteo Signani vs Tyler Denny (European middleweight)
Chris Billam-Smith vs Mateusz Masternak (WBO cruiserweight)
Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales (WBC, WBA, WBO & IBF super-bantamweight)
Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith (WBO, WBC & IBF light-heavyweight)
Jason Moloney vs Saul Sanchez (WBO bantamweight)
Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer (IBF welterweight)
Joshua Buatsi vs Dan Azeez (WBA final eliminator)