Sympathy for Ukraine behind Usyk’s heavyweight win, says Fury

RIYADH : Heavyweight Tyson Fury said sympathy for Ukraine was behind the judges’ awarding a split-decision victory to Oleksandr Usyk in their heavyweight title fight on Sunday, with the Briton calling for an immediate rematch.

After cruising through the middle of the fight, Fury never recovered from a standing eight count in the ninth round, and the judges gave the fight to Usyk, making him the first undisputed heavyweight champion in almost 25 years.

“I believe I won that fight. I believe he won a few of the rounds but I won the majority of them …. His country’s at war, and people are siding with the country at war, but make no mistake, I won that fight,” Fury said in a post-fight interview in the ring.

Ukraine has been fighting a Russian invasion that started more than two years ago.

“I’ll be back. I’ve got a rematch clause,” the previously undefeated Fury added, with promoter Frank Warren saying in the ring another fight between the two was a certainty.

“That’s what the contract says. It’s what he wants. It’s his call, it’s Tyson’s call. So whatever he wants to do, it’s up to him,” Warren said.

After an intriguing 12-round battle that saw both men enjoy success, plenty of boxing fans would relish the chance to see the pair go at it again, especially after Usyk managed to turn the tide.

“We’ll go back to our families and I’ll see him again in October. We’ll go back, rest up. I believe I won the fight but I’m not going to sit and cry and make excuses. We’ll run it again in October,” Fury said.

Asked if he would be prepared to face Fury again, Usyk, who did not respond directly to Fury’s claim, was unequivocal.

“Yes, of course,” the 37-year-old Ukrainian said.

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