Oleksandr Usyk has set his sights on fighting Deontay Wilder next after being snubbed by Tyson Fury for their undisputed heavyweight clash.
After Usyk beat Anthony Joshua for the second time last month, he was expected to face Fury with all the titles on the line in boxing’s blue-riband division.
However, the Gypsy King has since called out Joshua, and now appears set to defend his WBC belt against his domestic rival in December instead.
Usyk has hit out at Fury for not fighting him, but has revealed that he already has another opponent lined up for early 2023.
“I’m not p***** off at all (about Fury deciding to fight Joshua). The bigger problem is Tyson Fury is not letting fans see one of the best historical bouts in boxing history,” Usyk told Ring TV.
“That’s his fault. Not mine. Tyson Fury can fight whoever he wants to fight.”
When pushed on who he would like to fight next, Usyk replied: “Deontay Wilder
“Wilder is a dangerous fighter, and that fight would most likely be in the United States.”
Wilder is due to return to the ring after a year away when he takes on Robert Helenius in New York next month.
Usyk plans to be at ringside to get a closer look at his potential next opponent.
Meanwhile, Usyk’s promoter Egis Klimas has backed Usyk’s decision to stay active by targeting Wilder as he does not want to see Fury hold up his fighter’s career.
He has also claimed that the Brit is avoiding Usyk as he is ‘afraid’ of the Ukrainian.
“Usyk is the heavyweight world champion and look how many statements Fury has made these last few months, he’s retiring, he’s not retiring, he’s fighting Usyk, he’s not Usyk, and now he’s fighting Joshua, you really don’t know what Fury is going to do next,” Klimas said.
“If you look in his past at everything that happened, Fury always caused a problem when it came to getting an undisputed world champion. He’s unpredictable.
“What happens when Joshua beats his a**? What will happen next? They will go to a rematch, which will push back the chance to have an undisputed world champion.
“I think Fury is most likely afraid of Usyk. Why does he run away from Usyk? Why? Because Fury sees danger in Usyk.
“Usyk wanted to fight Fury by the end of the year. You know what, we’re not running after him. We have three belts. He has one belt. Who cares? It’s a situation Fury created. Not Usyk. Usyk would fight Tyson Fury in his backyard. Usyk would fight anyone in their backyard.
“Usyk would like to fight Wilder, but whoever wins that fight (between Wilder and Helenius) would be next for Usyk. Usyk is not like Fury. He’s looking for the winners not looking for the losers.”