Who’s Next for World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury?

Heavyweight champ Tyson Fury punches Deontay Wilder

Sean Michael Ham

Conflicting statements and desires are currently leaving the next opponent for Tyson Fury entirely up in the air. 

On the one hand, the British heavyweight champion claims he wants to unify the titles and face Oleksandr Usyk whilst simultaneously releasing a social media post with a five-fight wish list that doesn’t include Usyk whatsoever. 

With that said, the ‘Gypsy King’ surely wants to face Usyk, right? 

Fury vs. Usyk via FaceTime 

You won’t find the enticing Illinois sports betting odds for this battle, but the first fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk took place on FaceTime. Fury sent a clear message to the newly crowned Ukrainian champ stating ‘I am coming’ for his freshly earned collection of heavyweight titles.

Usyk won the WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight championships when defeating Anthony Joshua in September. And whilst in New York to support Vasyl Lomachenko before his lightweight battle with Richard Commey, Fury seemed to make it evident that he’d like to fight Usyk next. 

Usyk was in contact with Fury’s trainer SugarHill Steward in the Big Apple. Then the connection between the heavyweight duo was made, as Fury shouted over FaceTime: ‘Oleksandr the great! Tell Oleksandr, I am coming.’ 

Usyk, unfazed by the situation, stated the Gypsy King isn’t at the forefront of his mind: ‘I am not think (about) Fury.’ 

Yes, both Fury and Usyk have shown interest in fighting for the undisputed championship. Still, Fury’s fellow countryman Anthony Joshua will likely claim his rematch with Usyk since activating a contractually agreed rematch clause. 

However, Joshua has stated he’d be willing to move aside and allow the Fury/Usyk clash, so long as the price is right. 

The manager of Usyk, Alander Krassyuk, spoke with Sky Sports: “I heard that Joshua could consider stepping aside if the money is right as he feels respect to the division and is willing to let the undisputed heavyweight championship happen.

Usyk says that he can fight Fury next if the offer is right and if AJ allows the bout to proceed.” 

Usyk tore the heart of British fight fans and stomped all over it when defeating AJ because the country wanted to see Fury vs AJ for the undisputed heavyweight title. And, of course, the biggest fight in British heavyweight boxing history could go up flames should AJ lose for a second consecutive time. However, if Fury defeats Usyk, this could set up the Fury/Joshua bout and reinstate a fight that both Fury and fight fans are eager for. 

Fury has shown his desire to fight Usyk; next, US promoter Bob Arum said: “If Joshua decides not to exercise his rematch against Usyk and decides to step aside, the fight we would like to make is between Usyk and Fury. 

“Then Joshua can fight the winner of the undisputed fight. That’s what Tyson would like. And I represent Tyson. That is his preference.” 

The ‘Gypsy King’ roadblock comes in the form of Dillian Whyte, the mandatory WBC challenger who was recently issued to face Fury. The arrangements for this fight are in place, but Fury is adamant about fighting before March 2022. If the bout agreements continue to be prolonged, he has no issue relinquishing his WBC strap to progress with alternative options.   

Tyson Fury’s Top-Five Hit List 

This is where confusion has settled in, and although social media posts on Twitter should be taken lightly, the British champions hit list is confusing.  

First to appear on the list is a foregone conclusion: a trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder, in which Fury retained his heavyweight title. Bear in mind, the post was published on Dec. 14, 2021, and also came with the caption: “Looking forward to some massive fights next year”. I’m not sure if the graphics team made a mistake or Fury hit the bottle again, but his first choice didn’t make sense whatsoever. 

Next on the list is Dillian Whyte, which is likely to happen early next year because of mandatory obligations. 

To a certain extent, the list contradicts Fury’s desire to fight Usyk because the Ukrainian doesn’t appear on it. But instead, you’ll find two bouts against compatriot Anthony Joshua – implying that Fury wants to see AJ defeat Usyk in a rematch and avoid crossing paths with Usyk at all. 

Last and probably least, the list named another trilogy bout with Derek Chisora, a fighter that Fury has defeated on two occasions via decision and stoppage in 2011 and 2014, respectively. 

As mentioned, social media posts don’t hold much weight, but it’s interesting to witness a wish list graphic from Fury that doesn’t mention the most challenging boxer to his undefeated reign in Usyk.