Fury, who holds the WBC heavyweight title, won a close split decision against Francis Ngannou this past Saturday in Saudi Arabia. This was a crossover boxing match between Fury, who’s considered by many the best heavyweight boxer of his generation, and Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion who had never boxed professionally.
Many expected this to be an easy fight for Fury, but Ngannou shocked the world by knocking him down and bruising him over the course of their 10-round fight. Many were on the edge of their seats given the potential of a massive upset playing out. However, for Usyk, it was a different story.
“The only ones who were worried were me and my team,” Usyk told Seconds Out.
Usyk has long been expected to face Fury to determine who’s the undisputed heavyweight champion, as Usyk holds the WBA and WBO titles. It was announced that the two were finally going to fight next after the Ngannou match, and he almost saw that mega fight slip away in real time.
“It was encouragement, ‘Move! Jab, jab! Please!,'” Usyk said, recalling rooting for his future rival Fury while ring side. “It was all words of encouragement, especially looking forward to the next fight. I wanted him to get through it so we can finally have our own fight.”
Fury and Usyk were in talks to fight Dec. 23. However, given the knockdown and a cut sustained by Fury, it seems unlikely that the fight will go down before the end of this year. Usyk admits he was a bit frustrated by the situation.
“They’re using any excuse to blame me for not being ready, and they keep extending, but that isn’t the case,” Usyk said. “Fury has to show up and has to fight. Now they’re saying that Tyson might not be ready for it, so the tables have turned. Maybe consider they’re the ones that are talking too much, and maybe nothing is going to happen.”
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Fury vs. Ngannou.