Oleksandr Usyk has upped his war of words with heavyweight rival Tyson Fury, claiming that only the WBC champion sees himself as a ‘king’.
Fury – whose nickname is The Gypsy King – defended his WBC crown earlier this month after beating Deontay Wilder in a thrilling eleven-round contest in Las Vegas.
The 33-year-old is expected to take on mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte next, before setting his sights on a unification bout against the winner of Usyk’s rematch with Anthony Joshua.
The wily Ukrainian is expected to see off Joshua having put in a masterful performance in Tottenham last month to win the WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF titles.
While there has been little back-and-forth between Usyk and Fury, the former cruiserweight champion has taken aim at the Gypsy King, insisting that he can beat the undefeated 6ft9ins giant.
Asked if he can see a fight with Fury further down the line, Usyk told The Sun: ‘Yes, of course, I do regard this fight a huge one. I see him as a very good fighter, good athlete, he talks a lot, he has a tongue.
‘He claims he’s the king of the kings, but it’s only he who thinks that. That’s what I can say about him.’
Although Usyk demonstrated against Joshua that he is the most technical boxer in the heavyweight division, many fans and pundits hold Fury as their favourite to triumph and win all the belts.
Yet the Cat has warned his doubters to write him off at their peril.
‘Before my Joshua fight everyone was saying that I haven’t got a single chance to win and beat Joshua,’ he said.
‘I used to hear those types of things throughout my life, but I am capable of beating Fury because I’m not boasting that I can just punish and beat every boxer in the world, but I just go to the gym and do my job.
‘I train hard, I work hard, I put all my effort in. I’m not trying to present myself as the king of the Universe.
‘I do what I have to do. I concentrate and I’m focused and I get the result according to my effort.’
Fury would present a whole new challenge for Usyk, though. The 33-year-old was noncommittal when pressed on his thoughts on Fury’s unpredictability.
He added: ‘I can’t comment much on his style because every fighter has his own style according to his own abilities and his own tendencies.
‘So, I think the main thing is his style brings him the victories.
‘That’s the main thing. Some people like it, some people do not. But he is successful.