Tyson Fury brutally honest on motivation for Oleksandr Usyk fight: ‘Purists don’t want to hear it’

The Briton will box the Ukrainian on Saturday to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Monday 13 May 2024 10:18 BST
Tyson Fury survives shock knockdown by Francis Ngannou

Tyson Fury has doubled down on his claim that he is fighting Oleksandr Usyk “for the money” – even if “boxing purists don’t want to hear it”.

Fury will box Usyk in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years. The Briton, 35, and Ukrainian, 37, will both enter the fight unbeaten, as they look to emulate Lennox Lewis by holding all the division’s major gold.

Yet the historical ramifications of the fight mean less to Fury than the money he will earn from it, according to the WBC champion.

“Look, this is an important fight,” Fury told The Telegraph, “but again... I hate to say it, because the boxing fans and the boxing purists and all them w*****s don’t want to hear it, but why do you think I box? For the money.

“If anybody in this building, or anybody in professional boxing, tells me they don’t do this game for money, they’re lying to you, and I speak from the heart. I do it for the dough. The bigger the deal, the better. I’m a prize-fighting pugilist specialist, that’s what I do. I fight for the prize, whether it be gold bars, gold coins, cash, transfers, cars – whatever you want to pay me, pay me in bags of sand for all I care. As long as I can make a drink on it, deal done.

“This is a good fight, [but] I’m not too concerned about what people are going to be saying in 100 years. The dust from our bones won’t exist in 100 years, never mind what they say about a boxing match in 100 years. We’ll all be dead, my kids will be dead, my wife will be dead, my dad will be dead, anybody I ever cared about will be gone.

“So, I’m going in there to get paid [...] and come back to Morecambe Bay. I probably won’t even buy anything, because I don’t need anything. I’ll do a bit of shopping, probably be tighter than I am today. I’ll do the rematch exactly the same.”

Fury at a pre-fight press conference for his bout with Oleksandr Usyk
Fury at a pre-fight press conference for his bout with Oleksandr Usyk (Getty Images)

Fury and Usyk are contracted to fight again, with their rematch expected to take place in October – likely in Riyadh, where they clash on Saturday (18 May).

“I’m looking to do a demolition job on him,” Fury continued. “I just want to beat the silly sausage. Yes, Usyk is fast, talented, he outboxed a big heavyweight in Anthony Joshua twice, but ‘AJ’ is one-dimensional, one-paced, and I could outbox him with a blindfold on.

“All I can do on Saturday night is go in there, give it my best shot, and – win, lose or draw – put my best foot forward and man up.

“I’ll tickle his nuts,” Fury joked, before adding: “Seriously, I’ll do the best I can, whatever that might be.

“I’m just different. It’s because I’m charismatic, tall, controversial, good-looking, can fight, all of the above. That’s why. There’s a lack of characters in this sport today; [there’s] a lot of businessmen and cash registers, but there ain’t so many characters. I’m a dying breed in this game.”

Fury vs Usyk will air live on DAZN worldwide, at a cost of £24.99 for new subscribers and £23.99 for existing customers. New subscribers will receive a free month’s subscription for the above cost. You can also purchase a DAZN subscription here, with plans starting at £9.99 a month. We may earn commission from this link, but we never allow this to influence our content. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

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