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‘I am in a position’: Fury to wish for Usyk ahead of heavyweight conflict


Tyson Fury declared himself ready to face Oleksandr Usyk and said he’d pray for his Ukrainian rival before Saturday’s undisputed heavyweight clash.

The sometimes madcap Mancunian kept his comments brief in a subdued press appearance on Thursday, two days before what is being billed as the biggest fight this century.

Lennox Lewis, who became the last undisputed heavyweight champion in 1999, sat with Evander Holyfield, the man he beat to unify the belts, in the front row as Fury spoke.

“I’m ready. I’ve got nothing to say apart from I’m ready for a good fight,” said Britain’s Fury, who sauntered to the stage carrying his WBC belt.

“If it’s tough or easy, either way I will be ready.”

Despite fireworks in the build-up when Fury’s father John headbutted a member of Usyk’s entourage, both fighters have refrained from the traditional trash-talk.

“I’ll say a prayer for him before we walk out that we both go back in one piece to our families because that’s what it’s all about,” Fury said of Usyk.

The Ukrainian, who came out in a white suit with a sash, wrote a poem and placed it in his pocket while waiting to speak.

“I’m happy to be here, I’m excited,” said Usyk, refusing to read out the poem.

“It’s my homework. It’s a poem,” he said, adding to Fury: “Let your hands talk in the ring.”

Britain’s Lewis united the WBC, WBA and IBF belts with his victory over Holyfield, who had been the undisputed champion at both cruiserweight and heavyweight.

Fury and Usyk — another converted cruiserweight, who beat Anthony Joshua to win the IBF, WBA and WBO belts — are both undefeated heading into Saturday’s fight, the first undisputed bout in the four-belt era.

The 6ft 9in (2.06m) Fury is 35-0-1 with 24 knockouts while 6ft 3in Usyk, who won Olympic gold during a stellar amateur career, enters at 24-0 with 14 KOs.



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