Tyson Fury explains why he snubbed Oleksandr Usyk in awkward face-off | Boxing | Sport

Tyson Fury has revealed the hilarious reason why he opted to not look Oleksandr Usyk in the face during their final press conference face-off. Ahead of their undisputed heavyweight championship bout, the pair took center stage, but refused to make eye contact.

As the two fighters stood feet apart from one another, Usyk shot daggers at Fury and held an emotionless gaze for nearly one minute. The latter chose not to acknowledge his opponent, instead flexing his muscles and singing along to music playing in the background. 

Following the awkward encounter, Fury told reporters he refused to meet Usyk’s stare because “he’s a scary looking dude.” As to how he was feeling ahead of his match over the weekend, the boxer told TNT Sports: “I’m just here to relax now and wait until I get in the ring on Saturday night. All the talking and interviews are done. I’m just really relaxed and focused.”

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Fans and pundits were immediately divided on who won the strange faceoff. While commentating on a live stream of the press conference, former professional boxer Richie Woodhall argued Fury was “not having any” of Usyk’s antics.

“They’re both very experienced and seen it all before,” he said. “So if anything, if you can burn off nervous energy with a face-off to your opponent a couple of days beforehand.

“Look at Usyk, his eyes are transfixed, but Fury is not having any of it and has seen it all before. He is just waiting for that bell to ring now.”

Fellow ex-boxer Carl Frampton, meanwhile, speculated that Usyk was attempting to get a rise out of Fury by playing mind games. “Usyk’s eyes are burning through the side of Fury’s head, it’s really interesting,” he said. “He’s trying to get a reaction from Fury and he’s getting nothing.”

Throughout his professional career, Fury has possessed a calm and level-headed demeanor in the biggest moments. The same applied on Thursday, as the 35-year-old didn’t appear to be feeling any pressure in the leadup to his highly anticipated fight.

“He does seem relaxed and if anything, Usyk is trying to look into the eyes of Fury and get anything out of him,” Woodhall added. “But he didn’t look at him, so he can’t get anything. The eyes tell you everything, and Fury didn’t give anything away there.”

Several fans online believed it was Usyk, not Fury, who emerged victorious from the face off. “Fury looks terrified,” one X user wrote alongside a crying laughing emoji, with another adding: “Tyson fury is scared he’s seen nothing.”

At the end of the day, none of the aforementioned mind games or trash talk will matter once both boxers step into the ring in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. There should be no shortage of fireworks during the bout, which Fury heralded as the “fight of the century.”

“[An undisputed heavyweight championship fight] has never happened this century before, and we’re looking forward to putting on a fantastic show,” he said on Wednesday, per ESPN.

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