It’s been a narrative of the build-up to Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk so far and ‘The Gypsy King’ keeps on hammering it home – earrings.
The WBC and lineal heavyweight champion has said time and again that no man who wears an earring will ever beat him in a boxing ring – that along with a string of over insults. The others mostly focused on Usyk’s size (or lack of). Remember that Tyson is likely to outweigh his opponent by 50lbs on fight night.
Now though, we know that Usyk’s ‘fashion accessory’ is actually nothing of the sort, and we know just why.
The IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight world champion sat down with Fury and interviewer Steve Bunce for a fascinating ‘The gloves are off’ face-off, released in the last few hours by Punch Perfect Media (watch the full video at the bottom of this article).
Why Oleksandr Usyk wears earrings
Usyk told Bunce (and Fury): “I can explain about the earrings. It’s Ukrainian warrior, Cossack. They were the people who defended my country from our enemies for many years. This is just the proof of my Cossack lineage. They never lost to anybody. There is no beauty or fashion in this.”
Despite Usyk’s explanation, Fury merely responded by re-iterating his own tried and tested take, complete with another insult.
The British star said: “Look, In Ukraine it means he a good fighting man for him. But where I’m from it means he’s a p***y with an earring in. That’s just the way I cut it.”
Usyk also touched on all those insults from Fury, and took a measured view about what has been thrown at him so far.
“I think that as long as there is a good balance then it’s fine that we raise our level of confrontation. But when it starts becoming too rude, touching on personal things, I don’t think it’s the right thing to do because our children watch us. Actually nothing really insults me, nothing that Tyson Fury has said – nothing at all.
When and where is Fury vs Usyk?
The fight for all of boxing’s heavyweight titles will go down in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday February 17, 2024. Ring walks are likely to take place at around 2300 UK time (midnight CET, 1800 Eastern Standard Time, 1500 PST).
Who holds the heavyweight titles?
Fury is the WBC and lineal heavyweight king while Usyk is the IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring magazine champion.
When was the last undisputed heavyweight champion?
The last boxer to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world was Britain’s Lennox Lewis, when he defeated Evander Holyfield in their Las Vegas rematch in November 1999. Their first fight at Madison Square Garden in March 1999 had ended in a hugely controversial draw.
What are Fury and Usyk records?
Both men are undefeated heading into this massive showdown.
Fury is a two-time heavyweight champion with a 34-0-1 record – including 24 wins inside distance. The closest he has come to defeat was a draw vs Deontay Wilder in their first meeting in Los Angeles in December 2018.
Usyk meanwhile has a 21-0 record as a professional boxer – with 14 wins inside distance. He was the unified cruiserweight champion before moving up to heavyweight to take the IBF, WBA and WBO titles by defeating Anthony Joshua in 2021. He also had an incredible 335-15 record as an amateur and won an Olympic gold medal.