Oleksandr Usyk reacts to Tyson Fury retirement and warns Anthony Joshua

Oleksandr Usyk reacts to Tyson Fury's retirement announcement

The Ukrainian isn’t convinced that Fury has hung up his gloves (Pictures: Getty)

Oleksandr Usyk does not believe Tyson Fury will follow through on his retirement announcement while he has warned Anthony Joshua that he will be extra-motivated to win their rematch.

The Ukrainian – who holds the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts – left his war-torn homeland to begin training for his rematch with Joshua, which is likely to take place in London at the end of July.

There had been an expectation that the winner of that bout would then take on Fury in an undisputed fight at the end of the year, but the Gypsy King dashed those hopes following his win over Dillian Whyte.

Oleksandr Usyk reacts to Tyson Fury's retirement announcement

Fury KO’d Whyte and then announced his retirement (Picture: Getty)

After the victory, Fury claimed on multiple occasions that he would now retire from boxing, though did tease the possibility of facing UFC star Francis Ngannou in a hybrid match.

But Usyk is still confident a unification fight will happen and when asked if he believes Fury has really retired, he laughed and told the Block Party YouTube show: ‘No, I don’t believe him!’

The former cruiserweight put on something of a masterclass against Joshua last summer and, far from the war in Ukraine being a distraction, he believes he can use it as motivation when he faces AJ for a second time.

He continued: ‘Maybe some of those who watch this show will think that I am crazy but even mates and colleagues sometimes call me Mr Frost because I am able to distract from certain things.

‘Of course, what’s going on currently in Ukraine will motivate me a lot in the gym, in training sessions and of course during the fight. Because for me it’s another way to make people happier, those who are at home right now.’

On the situation in his homeland, he explained: ‘The fight is continuing but I’m keeping posted on my friends and I’m regularly updated by them, I receive all the news from them.

Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk - Heavyweight Title Fight

Usyk says a venue for the AJ rematch will be chosen soon (Picture: Getty)

‘I made this decision to return to training sessions as my friends and my colleagues from authorities – some of them are public figures – they asked me to return and to get back training.

‘This way I can help my country way more than just staying [in Ukraine] or joining the territorial defence battalion, so this way I’m helping my country too.’

Asked for a potential update on when an official announcement might be made for the Joshua rematch, Usyk added: ‘We’re currently looking into the contract and if everything is okay we’re going to sign it very soon. If everything goes well, yeah we’ll select the exact date soon.’


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MORE : Ricky Hatton: Tyson Fury can be tempted back while Anthony Joshua rematch could loom for Dillian Whyte

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