It appears the end is near for Oleksandr Usyk’s illustrious career.
The 2012 Ukrainian Olympics gold medalist, former cruiserweight king, and current unified heavyweight champion of the world is planning on retiring after three more fights.
“I can fight three times more at the very best. It's a realistic perspective for my top form. With [Tyson] Fury, Canelo [Alvarez], and a farewell fight at Olympiyskiy [National Sports Complex in Ukraine],” Usyk said in an interview on his YouTube channel. “With Canelo, he said he wanted to fight me. It would be a freak fight just for the sake of earning money. People say I’m a freak. If they [Fury and Joshua] sign the contract, they will punch each other for a while. But the thing is that everyone is expecting Usyk versus Fury for the undisputed championship, which for many years hasn’t occurred in the heavyweight division.”
The WBO, WBA, IBF, IBO, and Ring Magazine champion Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) will turn 36 years old in January, and he’s already stated that the next time he’ll step in the ring to defend his titles will be in 2023.
Usyk has been open to a fight with Fury, but he wants to do it on his own terms, citing the need to allow his injuries to heal.
Alvarez has also expressed interest in challenging Usyk.
In recent weeks, Usyk has also alluded that he’s open to fighting former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, going as far as saying he’ll be present for Wilder’s next bout against Robert Helenius on Oct. 15 in Brooklyn.
Usyk became the heavyweight champion in 2021 after decisioning Anthony Joshua. Usyk also beat Joshua in an August rematch via decision.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.