Tyson Fury said 2023 would be the “biggest year of my career” as the Briton looked to unify boxing’s fractured heavyweight division.
Fury, unbeaten as a professional, retained his WBC version of the title with a 10th-round stoppage of Derek Chisora on Saturday – the third time he had defeated his compatriot.
The 34-year-old Fury was in complete command from the opening bell, with large parts of the fight resembling a sparring session such was the dominance of the self-styled “Gypsy King”.
Oleksandr Usyk, the holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, was among a crowd of nearly 60,000 on a bitterly cold night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London.
“I’m ready and willing to take on Usyk whether it is in Saudi Arabia or back here in the United Kingdom,” Fury told a post-fight press conference.
“Let’s give the fans one champion, one name, one face. He’s not an easy boxer to figure out, he’s slick, a southpaw, moves well, coming in on good form and I look forward to the challenge.
“But for whatever reason if we’re not able to do that, then we will have Joe Joyce at Wembley. I’ll do Usyk and then Joyce at Wembley as well.
There were chaotic scenes following Saturday’s contest, with Fury joined in the ring by Ukraine’s Usyk and Britain’s Joyce.
All three boxers are unbeaten as professionals, with Usyk, 35, twice defeating Anthony Joshua, firstly depriving the British heavyweight of his world titles at the home of Premier League football club Tottenham in September last year before defeating him again in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this July.
– ‘Real men’ –
Fury after defeating Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April and reversing a decision to retire, called out Joshua, the London 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion.
But talks between the two camps fell through, with Chisora stepping in, and Fury is now resigned to never meeting Joshua in the ring.
“I want to fight real men, real challenges,” said Fury. “Usyk came over here and got in my face. We (Fury and Joshua) live in the same country but have you ever seen AJ do that after a fight?
“In the heavyweight rankings you have number one, me and then the next three – Usyk, Joyce and Deontay Wilder.
“If I fight Usyk, maybe Joyce could fight Wilder – that would be fantastic,” explained Fury, who in three bouts with the American won two and drew one.
Promoter Frank Warren added, “Both Usyk and Joyce are huge fights but the one I want to see for my satisfaction is Usyk.
“I want Tyson to get what he should be – recognised as the best heavyweight in the world.”
But veteran United States promoter Bob Arum, now working with Warren after being involved in some of heavyweight great Muhammad Ali’s most celebrated bouts in the 1970s, had some words of warning for Fury as he referenced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Usyk is a Ukrainian and Ukrainians fight like no one else in the world, they are knocking the crap out of Russia,” said Arum.