Oleksandr Usyk fights in front of his Ukrainian people in the neighbouring country of Poland when he defends his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight world titles against Daniel Dubois at the Stadion Wroclaw in the south of Poland on Saturday night. The next best thing compared to a homecoming due to the ongoing Russian invasion that has displaced millions of Ukrainian citizens to neighbouring countries.
With little focus on the opponent Dubois, the majority of the western media have targeted the topic of the failed undisputed clash with Tyson Fury.
Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) has watched his fellow pound-4-pounds stars take part in marquee fights with performances to match the occasion. Naoya Inoue made his claim as boxing’s greatest active fighter when defeating Stephen Fulton last month, while Terence Crawford made his own claim for the Crown winning a second undisputed title with a ferocious performance over Errol Spence just days later.
Usyk’s resume is difficult to criticise. The Ukrainian superstar won all four belts at cruiserweight bulldozing his way through the division as the away fighter. Now a unified heavyweight champion, a bout with Fury would have given him the chance to cement himself as one of the best alongside the likes of Inoue and Crawford.
“I can’t say that I am frustrated that we are fighting Dubois instead of Fury.” Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk said in an exclusive interview for ProBox TV. “Because we did what we had to do and did everything possible to make it happen. You cannot force someone to fight the other fighter if he doesn’t want it, or if he is scared, or whatever, I don’t know. For any other reasons he comes up with, he didn’t make it to the ring with Usyk. He will find hundreds of reasons not to fight. We are chasing him, of course.”
Fury gave an exclusive interview to Sky Sports News where he gave some snippets of hope for an undisputed clash with Usyk in the future.
“I’ve seen the interview, he has to feed the public with expectations.” Krassyuk explained. “If this fight doesn’t happen with Tyson Fury, he will not be respected. He will not be a Hall-of-Famer, he can become this if he loses to Usyk but it doesn’t look like he wants the fight. I don’t think Tyson Fury is our road to the Hall of Fame. If Fury is not there, someone else will be there. Usyk was undisputed at cruiserweight winning all his fights in his opponents country. He won everything as an amateur and will continue to do great things. He’s not fighting for himself anymore.”