Published On: Wed, May 15th, 2024
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Oleksandr Usyk warns Tyson Fury he has ‘soldiers’ following headbutt | Boxing | Sport


Oleksandr Usyk has sent a bone-chilling message to Tyson Fury, following an altercation involving their teams that saw John Fury, Tyson’s father, headbutt one of Usyk’s smaller associates. The heavyweight champion warned that members of his team are ‘professional soldiers’, skilled not only in boxing but also in more lethal forms of combat, ready to respond should Fury‘s camp provoke further incidents.

The fracas unfolded during media day on Monday, ahead of their undisputed heavyweight fight on Saturday.

It escalated to the point where 59-year-old John Fury was seen with blood streaming down his face after confronting Stanislav Stepchuk, and headbutting Usyk‘s friend. The Ukranian boxer has since sent a message to Tyson’s team, reminding them of who they’re dealing with.

“It’s bad behaviour from Tyson’s team. We are professional athletes, not street fighters, and this is a big event for our people, the UK and Ukraine,” Usyk declared. “If they want to destabilise my team, it’s not possible because I don’t just have professional coaches and trainers, I have professional soldiers.”

He continued, “My team is very good at wanting to fight, not boxing but street fighting, shooting, knives and wrestling. Of course it’s disappointing that it happened at an event like this, because it is about discipline.

“But I am not disappointed by my team, they are disappointed because I pulled them back and stopped them from fighting. They wanted to go, they were looking over at me waiting for the signal to go.

“They were waiting for the thumbs up but I gave them the thumbs down. ‘Back, back please’, I said. They were not happy but we had to behave properly. The situation doesn’t matter to me, it’s just more motivation for my team.”

Stepchuk was left with a bruised forehead but Usyk’s team decided to take no further action. Fury Sr, who spent time in prison for gouging out a man’s eye, later apologised directly to Saudi Arabia’s boxing ringmaster Turki Alalshikh for the assault which overshadowed the start of an historic fight week.

Fury and Usyk have so far been kept apart in the desert but will come face to face 48 hours before they meet in the Riyadh ring to crown the division’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in 1999. And while the Brit laughed off his dad’s ugly behaviour, Usyk will use the altercation as fuel ahead of the landmark first bell.

“My friend did not bleed because he is a powerful guy,” he added. “He is a street guy. Did you see the video? He was like a Pitbull. He’s only my friend, it’s a secret who the soldiers are in my team. It’s bad, it’s just bad and a stupid situation. I don’t want to call John ‘bad’ because I don’t know him or his mind. But he hit my friend, my team and it’s just another reason for me to win in the ring.”



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