Tyson Fury contacts cruiserweight champion for help before Oleksandr Usyk showdown

Fury and Usyk have signed contracts for an undisputed title fight in Saudi Arabia, it was announced last week

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Monday 02 October 2023 10:29 BST
Topless Tyson Fury tries to get Francis Ngannou to take shirt off

Tyson Fury has reportedly reached out to cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia, as the “Gypsy King” seeks training partners for his fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

It was announced last week that Fury and Usyk have signed contracts for an undisputed title fight in Saudi Arabia, with the heavyweights due to clash before Riyadh Season ends in March.

Briton Fury holds the WBC heavyweight title, while Usyk is WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion. The Ukrainian previously reigned as the only undisputed cruiserweight champion of the four-belt era, and his speed and slickness of movement have largely survived his move to heavyweight.

Seemingly with that in mind, Fury is aiming to enlist IBF cruiserweight champion Opetaia as a training partner, the unbeaten Australian said on Saturday (30 September).

Speaking to Boxing King Media after stopping Jordan Thompson at Wembley Arena, Opetaia said: “Tyson Fury has already reached out. He messaged [my] coach, they’ve spoken about it before.

“I was close to going out there before the fight got cancelled,” the 28-year-old added, referring to the collapse of talks between Fury and Usyk in spring.

“That’s a crazy experience, I look forward to doing things like that.”

Jai Opetaia, left, stopped Jordan Thompson last week to retain the IBF cruiserweight title (Action Images via Reuters)

Opetaia also said he would like to move up to heavyweight someday, meaning Fury, 35, and Usyk, 36, could be potential opponents in the future – if they are still boxing by then.

“Definitely,” said Opetaia. “I’ve still got a lot of work to do as a cruiserweight, but I see myself fighting for heavyweight world titles further down the track.”

Opetaia stopped Thompson in the fourth round on Saturday, dropping him in that frame and also in the third.

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