Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk reflects on his leading fighter’s date with Daniel Dubois, addresses the situation with Anthony Yigit and tells Declan Warrington why the overdue fight with Tyson Fury could be next

BN: What’s next for Oleksandr Usyk?

The next step is already taken. He is in Spain with his kids and with his family now, resting. That’s the most important thing – for him to get back; to recuperate the energy. To focus; to celebrate; to enjoy the moment of the victory that he deserved. You work that hard, you are obliged to get this celebration. Two of his sons stay in Spain [Usyk lives in Kiev, Ukraine], and that’s why he’s missed them so much. He’d been in training camp for so long – he needs this time with them.

You think it’s really, really dangerous [to live in Ukraine], but normal people who live in Ukraine, they get used to it. “Okay, so what if it is dangerous? So what can I do about it? Should I be that concerned?” Probably not. “What should I do? I should relax and live my life.” We’ve already got used to this. I don’t mean it’s normal. But I mean that, it is what it is. You can’t suffer of it, because we’ve suffered of it so much.

BN: How much did Team Usyk prepare its argument against the punch from Daniel Dubois, ahead of the post-fight press conference?

We were celebrating; people were coming to take pictures with Usyk; to take photographs. I was moving around the stadium to find some guys who were promised to take a picture with him. You just spend time there; drink water; wipe your face with a towel. At some point, this theme arises. The Usyk corner wasn’t discussing whether it was legal or illegal. The discussion was it was intentional or unintentional, and our discussion was whether Luis Pabon had to deduct two points or not. That was actually the discussion. Russ Anber was standing next to me and he was looking at the video, and then he made the screenshot. I was standing together with Egis [Klimas] “It’s a low blow.” “Can you text me this picture, please?” Did it look like we played something [at the press conference]? The whole team was there. Everyone involved in boxing sees it that way. The three [pre-fight] press conferences that I had, I was preparing them. But you can never get yourself prepared for the post-fight press conference, because you never know what’s gonna happen.

We were inspecting signs of the blow, and you can see a kind of haematoma on his body, so for us it was not even an issue to be under discussion. Regarding the fight itself he said that the crowd was just amazing, and he felt the energy of the thousands screaming and shouting. “The rain just brought people closer to each other, not to get wet, and that was just amazing.”

BN: Do you believe that Dubois’ team believes it was a legal punch?

Frank Warren is an extremely experienced promoter. One of the most experienced – how can he lose this opportunity, to stay in the headlines, of all the media around the world, for any reason? Including this one. Who cares whether it’s a low blow or not? The thing that does matter is the dispute. That’s the point. I would be really surprised if any promoter would say, “Oh, no, that was an illegal punch – [Daniel] Dubois, I will fine you part of your purse. No way – don’t behave like this”. Frank Warren, if he believes or not, I can’t say, but he definitely does his job properly.

BN: How likely do you think a rematch or a no-contest ruling is?

Zero per cent, or even negative. He [Warren] will definitely file the protest. One hundred per cent. But can you imagine the WBA accepting the protest for the legendary referee Luis Pabon for an absolutely legal and smart decision, because he was standing right in the position he had to be when an orthodox [fighter] and southpaw [fighter] are fighting, and he was the first man to see it happening. He started to wave his hands even before Usyk was down completely. When he was just bending down he was starting to wave his hands. It means that he didn’t have to take a decision – he just reacted on what he said. Just imagine the WBA banning or suspending him. That would create a real scandal; it’s gonna be like a disaster in boxing.

BN: Do you think because of what happened with Tyson Fury that that fight has become more likely?

Everyone is vulnerable being punched below the belt. Every man. So did it add some information to Tyson Fury? I don’t think so. I think Tyson Fury, who I consider to be a great expert in boxing – he is a man who knows a lot. He’s like a walking encyclopaedia. This man watched it from an expert’s side – and he saw what Usyk is capable of. I think it’d even get him more scared. Rather than, “Come on – get me here”. Just imagine 2.12m Tyson Fury trying to land a low blow to 1.9m Usyk. He has to bend – that’s an amazing opportunity for him to knock him out.

I wish it was 100 per cent [likely to happen next]. Deep in my heart I expect it to happen. I want it to happen. I will use all my efforts to deliver this fight to the world. I’m really sincere. I can’t guarantee it will happen for sure, but I really want it to take place.

BN: When and where would it be?

Listen, Tyson Fury is fighting [in October, Francis] Ngannou. Though it’s a circus, it’s still a real fight – it’s not an exhibition. Let us consider one difficult-to-imagine fact. Of course he’s not going to lose, and it’s difficult to imagine he loses, but at some point he goes down with an injury, and he has a rematch clause, what’s going to happen next? An injury may happen. If he’s coming through healthy and well prepared then he will probably need some time to rest and then to come to a new training camp – which takes around three, four months. So, probably, maybe end of February is the appropriate date for the fight. At this moment, Saudi Arabia is the only country capable of delivering this fight.

Just some small details. If you go on the market, just normal markets [beyond Saudi Arabia], you generate the pay-per-views throughout the world; you generate the tickets and you generate the advertising. So you have TV, advertising and sponsoring, and the gate. Only three sources of income. Would they make everyone satisfied? I mean, in [Fury’s] camp? I can hardly believe it.

BN: Would it be on the same bill as the proposed fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder?

I have no idea. I wish it was. Being a part of that event – it’s historical. It’s like Rumble in the Jungle; Thrilla in Manila. It stays in the history forever. It’s a good one [even without Joshua-Wilder], and if it’s happening in Las Vegas, then it hasn’t got that exotic taste, you know?

BN: If not Fury, is Filip Hrgovic next?

Yeah. If we want to remain IBF champion, we have to comply with the rules.

BN: Usyk is about to turn 37, and fighting above his natural weight division. Is there a race against time for him to fight Fury?

Do you think Fury can stop time from passing? August 12 [was Fury’s 35th birthday] – I wished him a happy birthday. Usyk is on his top now. If Fury wants to defeat him he would have to wait something like five years, because he will be on his top for the next two, three years, for sure. He’s 36. This is the golden era for a heavyweight. Don’t forget that Usyk came to boxing being 15 years old. Usyk’s camp – it’s not like just a crowd of people. These are very much experienced guys who learned throughout the whole career of Oleksandr Usyk. They know him perfectly. They know what has to be done to keep him on that level. They do their job properly.

BN: What is your response to the video Anthony Yigit posted, after his fight with Denys Berinchyk on the undercard of Usyk-Dubois, claiming that he was refused the appropriate medical attention?

I spoke to his manager. Just to answer this question properly, I will rather show you our correspondence [Boxing News read a lengthy WhatsApp message, from what appeared to be Yigit’s manager Conor Slater, absolving Krassyuk of any responsibility, and calling the doctors and medical stuff “unhelpful”]. I’m sorry I have to disclose personal messages but it’s it’s worth more than 1,000 words from myself.

I mean, this is in my blood. When people come to my show. They are my guests. I’m coming from Ukraine. I can’t do anything else but treat them like guests, even though they are my opponents. I’ve been promoting for almost 20 years, by the way – you can hardly find anyone who’s been unsatisfied with our hospitality or anything like this. It’s my first fight here in Poland. I’ve never worked with with the local [boxing] federation. I’ve never worked with the local doctors, and the people’s mentality here is a little bit different than we’re used to in Ukraine, because in Ukraine, it works like this… We have everyone everywhere; my people, I am so grateful to the guys who helped me organise this show. But some issues were out of control. And this is not one fuck up – excuse me my language – which took place.

We also had issues with tickets. For example, we had some tickets that were duplicated by the ticket operator, and it was a coincidence that these tickets were delivered to Queensberry [Promotions]. Can you imagine? So I was dealing with it myself. I came down to the ringside to sort this out because I feel responsibility. This is my show. This is my name and my reputation. We of course sorted it out. The only thing I couldn’t control was the rain. Sorry for that. But I had no one to give a call – I have no direct connection with the Lord. Everything else, I tried.

I feel sorry about it. It’s not the way it should be conducted. As long as this is my show, even though it’s not my responsibility, I feel guilty, and I would love to apologise in front of Anthony Yigit and congratulate him for a huge and spectacular performance he put [on] in the ring with Denys Berinchyk. And say, “Man, listen, I’m really sorry about that. Excuse me, and accept my apologies for being treated like that.”