Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs), the Ukrainian heavyweight titan of the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO, broke it down in a chat with Reuters on the anticipated Fury fight and what fuels his fire to win.
"Looking at a February face-off.
I was all set for a December 23 showdown, but Fury's licking wounds and took a tumble in his last bout, so it's looking like a next-year thing.
February's on my wish list. And I'm hoping it's Fury waiting in the ring.
Right now, it's all about sharpening my game – no big shake-ups in my playbook. I just got some extra time to throw in a few more punches, that's all.
Fury? Doesn't cross my mind. My head's with my crew, my kin. There's no need to fuss over the other guy. I'll meet him, greet him with gloves, end of story."
"It's all for my homeland and my bloodline."
Today's grind – my wins, my strides – are all for the glory of Ukraine and my family tree.
The man who set the bar, the one I wanted to mirror, was my old man. He's the voice that told me I had the right stuff.
Standing among the stars in Saudi, I'd shoot a glance skyward and think, "You're watching, old man. You see where I stand, what I'm punching at. And I'm thanking the man upstairs and you for that drive."
"Ali's spirit spurs me on, too. He was a champ who stood for his beliefs, rights, and folks. He threw punches for the people, for the whole wide world."
The Lowdown on Usyk's Ready To Fight Ethos
"Ready To Fight is all about giving the boxer a fair shake and putting the squeeze on the con artists."
Usyk and Fury were meant to tangle on December 23 for the undisputed heavyweight crown. That's on ice till early 2024. Fury's hype man, Frank Warren, says we'll have a date quicker than a one-two punch.