Tyson Fury forced to pull out of TV interview as clear message sent to Oleksandr Usyk | Boxing | Sport

Tyson Fury has shown that he is taking his fight preparations seriously by pulling out of a live TV interview ahead of his upcoming showdown with Oleksandr Usyk. The Gypsy King will become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis if he can inflict the first defeat of Usyk’s professional career on Saturday night.

Fury was due to promote the clash on Good Morning Britain after being invited on the show for a live TV interview just over 48 hours before the fight. However, he was ultimately forced to pull out due to his training schedule, which suggests that he is not taking Usyk lightly in spite of his public bravado.

A spokesperson for ITV said: “Tyson was caught up this morning with training commitments and we look forward to welcoming him back on the show soon.”

The build-up to the fight has already been marred by controversy, with Fury’s father John being left bloodied after headbutting a member of Team Usyk earlier this week. A verbal confrontation between the two camps quickly turned physical, with the elder Fury coming off worse than his opposite number.

Usyk then attempted to play mind games with Fury by switching from his usual orthodox stance to southpaw during his open workout on Wednesday. Fury, who regularly switches between stances during fights, responded by adopting a southpaw stance in his own public session.

It seems clear that Fury is under no illusion regarding the scale of the bout, which is undoubtedly the biggest of his career given the prize of becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion in nearly 25 years.

“I think we’ll find out on Saturday whose destiny it is, mine or his,” Fury told Sky News.

“We both can’t have the destiny of being the undisputed in this era and we won’t be young enough to go into another era undisputed, so it’s D-Day for both fighters.”

Usyk, meanwhile, has reportedly complained about the ring canvas ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster fight. According to Sky Sports, he is unhappy with the seam holding the canvas together, with Team Usyk concerned about it potentially causing a fall by either of the boxers.

The former cruiserweight king will go into this weekend’s bout as the slight underdog despite winning all 21 of his professional fights to date. Fury, however, will be in the ring for the first time since his narrow points victory over UFC legend Francis Ngannou, which has been described as one of his worst career performances.

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