Fury vs Usyk: Tyson Fury refuses face-off with Oleksandr Usyk in subdued final press conference

Sometimes no words hold a greater meaning than words themselves.

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk epitomised as much in a respect-fuelled press conference at the end of which the oft-animated ‘Gypsy King’ elected against a final face-off.

The heavyweight titans cut figures of unwavering focus as they spoke for the final time before fighting in Saturday night’s historic clash for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.

“He’s a scary looking dude,” Fury told Sky Sports when asked why he did not face-off with Usyk.

“I’m just here to relax now and wait until I get into the ring on Saturday night. All the talking is done, all the interviewing is done. I’m really relaxed and focused.”

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Tyson Fury explains why he refused to participate in the face-off with Oleksandr Usyk

In pictures: Fury refuses to face-off with Usyk

The traditional staredown was supposed to begin and Usyk turned to face his opponent

But Fury continued to face forwards

He showboated for the fans but refused to acknowledge Usyk

Usyk continued to gaze at the Brit

But Fury did not respond. Mind games perhaps?

Few words exchanged in final press conference

Following what has been a frenetic, intense and occasionally ugly build-up, few words were exchanged during the final press conference as the week’s two main characters drew a conclusive line under talking.

They rest, they will settle in the ring, doing what they both do best.

“I’m excited. Let’s make history,” began Usyk.

To which Fury replied: “I’ll make it short and sweet. I want to thank Usyk for challenging me. I aim to put on a show.

“I’m ready. Got nothing to say, apart from I’m ready for a good fight and if it’s tough or easy, either way I’m ready.”

Given the chance to offer a final message, Usyk concluded: “Let your hands talk in the ring”

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Fury and Usyk share their final words ahead of the big fight on Saturday

The sole, albeit minor, inkling of any last-gasp pre-fight sledging came courtesy of Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas, who questioned Fury as to why he calls himself the lineal champion.

The lineal champion is referred to as the ‘man who beat the man’, with Fury having previously conquered the once-dominant heavyweight of his era in Wladimir Klitschko, who, though, had not defeated the last undisputed champion in Lennox Lewis.

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Usyk was caught drawing something during the press conference, but refused to share it

Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk also offered some Henry Longfellow poetry to the mix, vowing to bring Fury’s belt back to his homeland.

“There is only one assignment left to pick up this green belt [WBC] and take it back to Ukraine the country it belongs.”

Fury and Usyk are expected to make their ring walks from 11pm UK time this Saturday, with coverage of the build-up from 4pm on Sky Sports Box Office.

‘Fury is in the zone now’

Carl Frampton, the former two-weight world champion, gave his verdict on the refused staredown.

“I didn’t make much of it. I think we’ll get a staredown at the weigh-in tomorrow [Friday],” Frampton told Sky Sports. “He’s focused, I think that’s all it is.

“I think Fury is in the zone now. He’s serious. He’s ready to fight. We’ll get a staredown tomorrow, I’m pretty sure of it.

“But I’m not one these that believe in people winning things before weigh-ins, who stared someone out the longest or what’s said at a press conference. I think the winning is done on the night.

“It was very civil, not a lot said between the two boys. To be honest I like it, I don’t think there’s a lot more that needs to be said.

“Both guys seems to be very confident, both I think know it’s going to be a difficult fight. Massive. Massive, massive fight.”

It’s one of the biggest sporting events in a generation. Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk collide for the undisputed world heavyweight championship on Saturday May 18, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book the fight now.

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