Reigning WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is looking at his retirement plan. The 35-year-old, who unified all four belts at cruiserweight before moving up to the heavyweight division, says he “can have three more fights at the very most.”
Speaking on the USYK17 YouTube channel, the 35-year-old listed his three preferred fights as follows:
“With Fury, Canelo, and a farewell fight at Olympiyskiy.”
Usyk, 20-0(13), is waiting, like the rest of us, to see if Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua sign a deal and have not only one fight, but two – with a rematch clause in the contracts Joshua and his people are currently having a good look at. If Fury and AJ do fight twice it will obviously delay a four-belt heavyweight unification showdown, which Usyk very much wants.
Usyk is prepared to wait for Fury, or Joshua if he defeats Fury, and he did recently say he’d like to fight the soon-to-return Deontay Wilder. But now Usyk has spoken about his plan, his three-fight plan.
“I can have three more fights at the very most. It is the most realistic to be in my top form. With Fury, Canelo, and a farewell fight at Olympiyskiy,” Usyk said. “With Canelo, he said he wanted to fight me. It would be a freak fight just for the sake of earning money. People say I’m a freak. If they (Fury and AJ) sign the contract, they will punch each other for a while. But the thing is that everyone is expecting Usyk versus Fury for the undisputed championship which for many years hasn’t occurred in the heavyweight division.”
Usyk joked how he wouldn’t bother to watch a Fury-Joshua fight, before stating that yes, he would. But once again, Usyk has claimed Fury is afraid of him.
“Despite his toughness and how he is generally described, he is afraid. Yes, of me,” Usyk said of Fury.
Usyk is a special talent and we will all miss him – and perhaps rate him and his ring performances even higher – when he’s gone. That Canelo fight might be very unlikely now, what with Canelo losing to DmitryBivol, in the process finding out how tough it is for him to be effective against the elite at 175, let alone heavyweight. The farewell fight could be against anyone Usyk chooses, as long as he has beaten either Fury or Joshua to scoop up all the belts at heavyweight. But this fight may take some time, around a year.
Will Usyk be prepared to wait that long?