By Declan Taylor
OLEKSANDR USYK says his request for a 14-week training camp was a misquote and insists he is ready to face Tyson Fury on December 23.
Fury and Usyk have already signed a deal to fight each other next and it is the worst kept secret in boxing that December 23 is the working date provided the Gypsy King is unharmed against Francis Ngannou on Saturday night.
However, quotes from Usyk emerged earlier this month that appeared to put that date in jeopardy. It was suggested that the Ukrainian had revealed he would need more than three months to prepare for Fury meaning it would be well into 2024 before he could fight.
But Usyk told Boxing News: “Listen, the translation was incorrect, I was asked a question: ‘how long is my usual training camp?’
“But people think I need 14 weeks to fight on December 23, which is not right. Can you imagine how tired I will be after 14 weeks of training? I will not see my wife, my children.
“I’m ready, December 23, to fight Tyson Fury for the undisputed title. I have been working to this moment for almost 20 years.”
The duo are expected to face off in the early hours of Sunday morning here in Riyadh once Fury has beaten rank outsider and boxing debutant Ngannou at the Kingdom Arena.
That photo opportunity will kick off two months of fevered build-up for the undisputed heavyweight title fight which will also take place in Saudi.
When asked whether he is looking forward to the Fury mind games that will undoubtedly come with it, Usyk grinned. “I am already in his head,” he said.
“My kids do not like him that much for him calling me things like sausage. They don’t like when their father is being offended by rude words.
“I tell them not to pay attention to this because he’s just a grown up kid. In reality he’s a very kind person but I have to beat him. They’ve asked me to knock him out.”
Usyk revealed he had just seven days away from training following his controversial victory over Daniel Dubois on August 26 in Poland, suggesting that he is already eight weeks into his camp.
It was put to Usyk that work could amount to nothing should Fury suffer a cut or a significant injury during his fight with Ngannou.
But Usyk said: “If he breaks his hand, then he will fight with one on December 23.
“I will not be nervous watching. Why would there be nerves? It’s not my fight and even when I fight I’m not nervous. I’m relaxed now.”