Tyson Fury has lamented Anthony Joshua’s loss to Oleksandr Usyk, saying he was "absolutely wounded" by the outcome, but vowed not to criticise his fellow Brit for the defeat.
A money-spinning match-up between the English boxers seems a long way off following the result at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, when Joshua relinquished his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles via unanimous decision.
WBC champion Fury, 33, had been set to face Joshua instead, with a world heavyweight unification bout seemingly confirmed earlier this year for Saudi Arabia. That fight was to take place last month.
However, in May, a court ruled that Fury, who remains undefeated in 31 professional fights, would have to first contest a third bout with Deontay Wilder. That encounter, postponed from July after Fury tested positive for Covid-19, falls in Las Vegas on October 9.
Asked at a virtual press conference late on Wednesday about Joshua-Usyk, Fury said: “Did I watch the fight? Yes I did. Was I absolutely wounded that he won? Yes I was. I was hoping Joshua could win the fight, but he couldn’t, and that’s none of my business.
“The only thing I’m bothered about is beating Deontay Wilder, and that’s the most dangerous heavyweight out there. In my opinion, Wilder beats Joshua, Usyk, all the rest of the division, comfortable. But he cannot beat me.”
Fury, who often exchanged barbs with Joshua as attempts were made to put together the most high-profile bout in boxing, said he had “no interest in slating anybody or kicking anybody while they are down”. Joshua is expected to invoke his right to an immediate rematch against Usyk, most likely for February or March.
“It isn’t my style,” Fury said of his compatriot. “I like to pick on someone who is doing well, successful, on top of the game – I don’t like picking on people who are down and probably at their lowest point and probably mentally unstable and unwell with a big loss after such a long reign.
“Usyk did his job, he had to do what he had to do, and that’s that. And Joshua has got to do what he has got to do.”
Fury, whose professional record stands at 30 wins and one draw (21 KOs), meets Wilder next month for a third time. The rivals fought to a controversial draw in December 2018 before Fury dominated the American in February last year to secure a seventh-round knockout and claim the WBC belt.
Declaring he would “splash Wilder to bits” at T-Mobile Arena, Fury said: “I’m in fantastic shape, fit as a fiddle. I’m absolutely ready, today, tomorrow and for ever. I’ll always be ready and I’ll never make excuses.
“When I beat Wilder, I’ll be on to the next one, so on and so forth. It’s never about the opponent. It’s the Tyson Fury show until I hang those gloves up. Until that day, it’s all about me, and the roadshow continues. All these years, 2008 to 2021, and I’m still undefeated.
“There isn’t a man out there born from his mother that can stop me or beat me. I haven’t seen one yet anyway. Maybe he’s not born, or maybe he is but he hasn’t got the guts to come and fight me.”