A RESPECTFUL and reserved Tyson Fury refused to be drawn into any criticism of Oleksandr Usyk ahead of their fight on May 18.

The two leading heavyweights will put everything on the line at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia next month with the winner walking out as the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Fury, who holds the WBC title and is regarded as the lineal champion, was in attendance for today’s (April 10) press conference at the Mazuma Stadium, the home of Morecambe Football Club and the area where he trains and lives.

The 35-year-old was joined by his promoter Frank Warren, manager Spencer Brown and trainer Sugar Hill Steward with the questions coming from Queensberry Promotions’ Dev Sahni.

Fury and Usyk were scheduled to meet on February 17, but the British heavyweight suffered a cut in sparring forcing the fight to be rescheduled for May 18. Usyk’s team were critical of Fury which sparked a brief war of words between the two camps but today “The Gypsy King” was full of praise for his opponent and his team.

“All Usyk’s team are lovely, decent people,” Fury said.

“I saw his manager (Egis Klimas) over in Saudi recently. I was having a bit of fun with him; I shook his hand. He’s a nice fella, he’s doing the best he can for his man. Frank, Spencer, and the team are doing the best for their man and if you don’t do the best for your man then you’re a pretty shit promoter or manager.

“I’ve seen some stuff in the media that this is really personal between me and Oleksandr. It’s not personal, it’s strictly business for both fighters. There’s a lot of stuff on the line but he don’t hate me and I don’t hate him. He’s a good husband, I respect him as a man, as a fighter. He was undisputed cruiserweight champion; he’s unified heavyweight champion so anyone would have to respect the man’s achievements.”

Fury is aware of the threat Usyk represents but reminded everybody what happened to arguably the greatest cruiserweight of all-time Evander Holyfield when he stepped up to face taller and larger built heavyweights during his illustrious career.

“Me being an encyclopaedia of boxing and having studied every heavyweight and cruiserweight that’s ever lived when the cruiserweights step up to the big boys usually, they get found wanting. Even the greatest cruiserweights that’s ever lived. Evander Holyfield. When he stepped up against the big boys like Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis he was found wanting.

“You can beat the average big ones, but you can’t beat the elite big ones because size matters. We have weight divisions for a reason and he’s going to be found wanting when he fights me on May 18. This is my time, my destiny, my era, my generation. Facts.”