Oleksandr Usyk has something Tyson Fury cannot touch – Ring News 24

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Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA

WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) says that regardless of the result of his fight against WBC titleholder Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this Saturday, he will always have something that his opponent will not.

An Olympic gold medal.

The 37-year-old Ukrainian southpaw, who previously held the undisputed championship at cruiserweight before moving up in weight, says that no career achievement can outshine the gold medal he won at the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 91kg heavyweight division.

“My gold medal will always be better than undisputed,” Usyk said. “Everyone who does sport – any sport: boxing, judo, karate – they all dream of the Olympic games.

“I know men with three world championship medals but no Olympic gold – only bronze.

“I did two Olympics and only got one medal. It takes four years – my final opponent [Clemente] Russo had done four Olympics, still no gold medal, in 16 years.

“The Olympics takes four years but a world title belt is easy – you can get one in six months, or a year. But professional boxing is a business for some people.

“For me it is sport but for a lot of people it is a business, it’s money, belts, fame. For me, first, it is a sport.”

Yesterday, there was a ruckus at the hotel when the teams of Fury and Usyk ran into each other. Fury’s father John took it upon him to rush up into the face of Usyk’s young friend Stanislav Stepchuk and screaming at him before launching an ill-fated headbutt that saw the 59-year-old crack open his own head and walk away with blood streaming down his face.

Unflappable as always, Usyk was not perturbed.

“For me it doesn’t matter, it’s just bad behaviour from Tyson’s team,” Usyk said. “We are professional athletes, not street fighters and this is a big event for our people in the UK and Ukraine. If they want to destabilise my team, it’s not possible because I don’t just have professional coaches and trainers, I have professional soldiers.

“My team is very good at wanting to fight – not boxing but street fighting. But I said: ‘Hey, guys, get back.’ We had to behave properly. Of course it’s disappointing that it happened at an event like this, because it is about discipline.

“I am not disappointed by my team, they are disappointed because I pulled them back and stopped them from fighting.

“They were looking over at me, waiting for the signal to go. They were waiting for the thumbs up but I gave them the thumbs down. ‘Back, back please,’ I said. And they were not happy. The situation doesn’t matter to me, it’s just more motivation for my team.”

If victorious, Fury has said he will gift all of the championship belts to Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority who has put this fight together at great financial expense.

Usyk has other ideas.

“I will take them back home,” Usyk said. “I have four belts coming for four children; two for my sons and two for my daughters; one each.

“Both sons came to the gym [near Valencia, Spain] after one of my sessions because my family lives close by. My sons come to the gym and give me power and motivation.

“Before I had sons, when I was young, I knew when I had them they could help me with water and hand me my gumshield and tell me, ‘Hey, come on father, you can’.”

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