Oleksandr Usyk, the Ukrainian WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion, gave an exclusive interview to vRINGe.com. In the conversation, Usyk commented on the negotiations on the super heavyweight tournament in Saudi Arabia, spoke about his potential rival Tyson Fury, and when they might do battle.
Q) Recently, there has been a lot of talk about a show in the Middle East, within which two mega-fights could potentially take place: Usyk-Fury and Wilder-Joshua. Two questions. First: what do you know about it? Second: Who will win, Wilder or Joshua?
A) I can’t say anything about the fight with Tyson Fury yet. At the moment the fight is not planned, since the negotiations, let’s say, are at an impasse. As far as I know, Wilder and Joshua will fight at the end of this year, but the details of the contract are being discussed within their teams, so no specific comments either.
Regarding the winner: everyone has their own potential. Wilder is betting on a knockout. Joshua is a very technical boxer and also has a knockout punch. But it is impossible to talk about the advantage of some boxer: victory in the ring depends on many factors.
Oleksandr Usyk Asked If Tyson Fury Is Afraid of Him
Q) Do you believe that Tyson Fury is afraid of you and would prefer to avoid a face-to-face fight? Or did the failure of the negotiations “read” as both sides knew that it was more financially profitable to hold this mega-fight not in the spring in Britain, but in the winter in Saudi Arabia?
A) For Fury, boxing is not only a sport, but also a show. And there is another factor – money. He talks about them all the time and voices some incredible amounts that he wants to receive for the fight.
I believe that all his loud statements are the intensity of passions. Without it, nowhere. So what is he afraid of? He is a professional athlete. And even if he loses, he will take his own.
It's no secret that fees are prescribed for both parties. If he wants to draw intrigue, his right, but no one will run after him or make concessions. The fight will take place sooner or later. And everything will be decided in the ring.
Q) After the breakdown of the fight with Fury, there was a lot of criticism of your promoter Alexander Krasyuk on the Internet. How do you yourself assess the work done by him during the negotiation process?
A) The negotiation process proceeded as it always does. There was nothing unique. The only question is Tyson Fury.
Holding on to the WBC belt and setting up unacceptable fight conditions in order to be rejected in advance is much more important to him than playing fair in the interests of the boxing industry and the fans who are waiting for this fight.
Q: You have read two books by Tyson Fury, dealt with him in negotiations, heard a lot about his antics. Give a psychological portrait of Tyson Fury, discarding his public image.
A from Oleksandr Usyk: A big man who has very good abilities in boxing and in life… but this big man is very afraid of losing.
Q) So far, there are two kings in heavyweight, two leaders – Usyk and Fury. Who do you think will be at the top of the division after you and Tyson retire?
A) One of them is “Gypsy” (laughs). In general, there are a lot of talented guys in the royal division. When our generation is gone (Usyk, Fury, Wilder, Joshua), young and hungry for victories fighters of the new generation will definitely appear.
Q) All promising Ukrainian heavyweights went through sparring with Oleksandr Usyk – Vykhryst, Sirenko, Zakhozhiy, Shevadzutsky, Rogava. Which of them can you single out? Which of them, in your opinion, has a chance to make a stir in heavyweight?
A) All the guys are good in their own way, each has its pros and cons. Some are more technical, some hit harder. It is difficult to single out just one.
I hope that their careers will be successful and they will raise the Ukrainian flag more than once!
Oleksandr Usyk Answers Bakole Rumors
Q) Have you heard Bakole's stories about how he beat and even stopped Oleksandr Usyk during a sparring session? In this regard, there are two questions. First: what was really there? Second: will you invite an African to the next training camp?
A) People can come up with different stories, but you don’t have to believe everything you hear. Do not forget that boxing is not only a sport, but also a show. Therefore, many people want to attract attention for PR or other purposes.
As for the second question. If the team decides that he is needed in the training camp, then yes.
Q) You are already 36 years old, and it is believed that for a boxer who emphasizes reflexes like you, this is already a critical age.
Usually the boxers themselves say “no, I’m super, I don’t feel anything like that,” but a situation often happens, as, for example, with Roy Jones.
What do you think about this and how long do you plan to please us with your performances? Relatively speaking, the title of absolute champion – and at rest?
A) I have a specific goal, and together with the team we will go to it. This is an absolute championship, yes. Let's see further. But even if my professional career is over, boxing will not disappear from my life.
Usyk Shares On Exciting Crypto Project
Right now, we are developing a new, unique project, “Ready to Fight,” which brings together all those involved in the world of boxing, solves their problems.
And, at least for the sake of this, I will continue to be in this environment and help beginners and established professionals. I'm sure we'll succeed.
Q) What is this project?
A from Oleksandr Usyk: This is a platform on which any boxer, regardless of the country and his skill level, as well as managers, trainers, nutritionists, masseurs – in general, all specialists who are part of the team of professional fighters, can already register.
Thanks to this platform, a boxer can easily find sparring partners for training, team members or earn money as a sparring partner.
But the most unique part of the project is the tokenization of boxing. This has never happened before in the world.
Q) Tokenization of boxing? Like this? And for what?
A) Together with the Qmall crypto exchange, we are introducing a native RTF token inside Ready to Fight, around which the entire ecosystem will be built. The token provides access to unique content, such as training videos or simply the opportunity to purchase merchandise.
The main thing is that this creates a fundamentally new monetization model for boxers. This is if we are talking about the business model itself.
The main mission is to help beginners move faster to the top of their careers, and professionals – to provide a more modern and convenient service in order to remove the maximum bureaucracy and problems that usually arise on the way to high-level performances and, in general, while building a personal brand.
After all, even TOP boxers have colossal difficulties that should not distract from their main goals.
Q) By the way, about the top boxers. The TOP 10 best heavyweights according to vRINGe today are as follows: 1. Oleksandr Usyk; 2. Fury; 3. Joshua; 4. Wilder; 5. Ruiz; 6. Hrgovic; 7. Zhilei; 8. Joyce; 9. White; 10. Parker.
Please describe each person on this list, including yourself, with the few words that come to mind first.
A) 1. Justice. 2. Gypsy queen. 3. AJ. 4. Knockout. 5. Mexican warrior. 6. Serious guy. 7. Iron chin. 8. Slow. 9. Dangerous. 10. Fury's friend.
Q) Which of the great heavyweights of the past would you like to go into the ring and why?
A) I'll name a few people. The first is Joe Louis . One of the best heavyweight champions in boxing history. For its time, very technical and with a strong impact.
The second is Mike Tyson. Speed, power and unstoppable. It would be interesting to fight with such an opponent.
Q) Three fights in modern boxing that you most want to see as a fan.
A)1. Errol Spence – Terence Crawford . 2. Deontay Wilder – Anthony Joshua . 3. Saul Alvarez – David Benavidez .