‘ I respect Anthony Joshua ‘ – Oleksandr Usyk speaks ahead of Fury bout

Oleksandr Usyk has revealed his respect for Anthony Joshua and expressed that he didn’t require an apology from the Briton ahead of his upcoming fight with Tyson Fury next month.

Back in August 2022, Usyk clinched victory over Joshua in Saudi Arabia, following a previous triumph over the 34-year-old at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. However, post-fight, Joshua’s actions drew controversy when he took some of Usyk’s belts and threw them away.

In February last year, Joshua apologized for his actions, stating: “Listen, I’m not perfect. It’s not the right thing to have done. I didn’t speak to Usyk but I spoke to Wladimir [Klitschko] and said give yourself a pat on the shoulder and tell him ‘well done and I apologize’, that’s man-to-man. But it was just raw, it may not make sense to a lot of people but it made a lot of sense to me and it was just how much it means, to a degree. I thought I would feel like that at the end of my career and when it’s all said and done I’d just be like ‘wow, what a rollercoaster, I made it through the trenches’.”

However, Usyk, speaking to Seconds Out, expressed his respect for Joshua and asserted that he didn’t need an apology in the first place. He stated, “I don’t have bad feelings about Joshua because I respect this man. He’s a great man. He’s a great boxer, an Olympic champion, and two times world champion. I think it’s emotion. I respect this man. No, I’m good.”

Usyk remains confident ahead of his fight with Fury next month. The duo is set to meet in the first heavyweight showdown since the days of Lennox Lewis.

Usyk is optimistic about his chances against Fury, expressing his ambition for a future fight in Ukraine. He stated, “Not if, when? I want to do a fight in Ukraine at the big stadium, Olimsky. My goal is to make a fight in a stadium. I think I [will] do it.”

Regarding the upcoming fight between Jake Paul and Mike Tyson, Usyk believes that the criticism directed towards the duo is exaggerated and sees no issue with the fight. He commented, “Listen, listen, it just shows, Tyson is a big, big famous man, who is well known around the world. Yeah, Jake Paul is young guy who won at boxing who wants to help young guys but it’s a big show. If people want to see the show, OK, give it to them. For me, I think it’s OK.”

The Fury vs Usyk match is scheduled to take place in Riyadh on May 18. With Fury winning 34 of his 35 fights and Usyk clinching victory in all 21 of his bouts so far, the encounter promises to be a thrilling showdown.

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