Oleksandr Usyk was a fighter Tyson Fury insisted he had no interest in facing in his career.
The ‘Gypsy King’ has already met the former heavyweight champion, who is set to face Anthony Joshua live on talkSPORT on Saturday night, and assessed him in person.
However, at the start of 2020, he gave an interview and insisted the 34-year-old was not a target for him.
Fury told iFL TV: “No. Usyk is not on the list, he is anonymous, no one is interested and it does not bring in any money.
“So why would I want to fight him?”
“He’s a small cruiserweight, foreigner, he doesn’t speak English well, and nobody’s really interested anyway, he’s not setting anything on fire.
“I want the big fights that people care about and this isn’t one.”
Usyk cleaned up the cruiserweight division in 2017/18, winning every belt as an outside fighter in the champion’s backyard.
He then moved up to heavyweight and beat Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora.
Due to his aforementioned achievements, Usyk became Anthony Joshua’s WBO mandatory challenger and skillfully dethroned the Briton to become two-division champion in September 2021.
This win caught Fury’s attention and his tune has since changed completely.
In the aftermath of those fights, AJ activated his contract clause to force a rematch with Usyk.
Fury told iFL TV: “I want him out so I can absolutely beat Oleksandr Usyk.
“If he does, he does. And if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. But go with it.
“Either you take your money and don’t care, or you fight the man. Either.”
Unfortunately for Fury, time ran out on that idea and so fought Whyte and is now adamant that he has retired from the sport.
If he does return though and Usyk defeats AJ again, the pair could end up meeting for all the belts.