Frank Warren called his fighter Tyson Fury ‘frustrated’ over delays from Oleksandr Usyk’s team, before the pair finally confirmed their undisputed heavyweight championship fight on Thursday night.
The Gypsy King will meet the Ukrainian fighter on February 17 next year, having initially changed his date from December 23 due to Fury’s need for additional recovery time, following the meeting with Francis Ngannou in October.
The MMA star proved a tough challenge for the lineal heavyweight champion in Riyadh with their clash going the distance, but Fury ultimately won the bout via split decision.
February’s bout – dubbed ‘Ring of Fire’ – will be the culmination of years of negotiations between the two teams in an attempt to confirm the clash between the two champions.
And Warren admitted exclusively to Mail Sport that the frequent match delays may have set Fury on fire and confrontation during his press conference.
Frank Warren discussed his fighter Tyson Fury’s ‘frustration’ over the time it took for his landmark fight with Oleksandr Usyk to come to fruition
The Gypsy King stared at Usyk as the pair went head-to-head in a spirited showdown
The Morecambe-based fighter was on fire during the previous press conference as he sent a barrage of nicknames and insults the Ukrainian’s way.
“Look, the last time we signed for it last year, it was them who pulled out,” Warren said in response to Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk’s claim that he wouldn’t believe the fight would go ahead “until the bell for the first round’.
“Tyson is very frustrated. I think the frustration spilled over at the press conference because this was really annoying, everyone was saying, “Why isn’t this happening.”
“We knew what the real truth was behind the scenes, the fact is it’s happening.
“Tyson will be there on the 17th, and I’m pretty sure Oleksandr will be there too, and I think we’re going to get something special.”
The Morecambe-based fighter cut a disruptive figure in central London when he called his relatively subdued opponent a range of names, from ‘sausage’ to ‘rabbit’ to ‘little man’ and ‘p**** with an earring’ .
But the 25-year-old later told Mail Sport that he is ‘not interested in unifying the division’ and that he has ‘already done it’.
“I did it when I beat Kitschko. I won all the titles,” Fury emphasized.
But Warren stated that Fury was still motivated – even if it is not a matter of his ‘legacy’.
Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk (left) claimed he wouldn’t believe Fury would take part in the fight until ‘the bell of the first round’
“He believes he’s the best and he wants to be the best, and that’s it,” Warren continued. “I suppose that’s a legacy in itself, but he’s not worried about the label.
“I think it’s the fact that he can walk around and feel like he’s achieved (that’s what’s important).
“For me, I think it’s great for his kids, that their dad is the undisputed champion, for his family, and I think for me, who was his promoter for a long time, I’ll be so proud to be with him when he has it done.
‘And I hope he does. We’ll find out on the 17th.’
The promoter also dismissed claims from rival promoter Eddie Hearn, who questioned whether Fury would retire after his fight with Ngannou.
Rival promoter Eddie Hearn suggested in early November that he thought Fury would retire
Warren reserved praise for the event’s hosts, Saudi Arabia, and Turki Alalshik (center right)
‘What would he know what Tyson Fury is going to do?’ Warren continued. “With the utmost respect for Eddie, he says a lot of things, he says – maybe one of his Vagina Monologues, I don’t know – from my perspective the battle is on, he doesn’t want to retire.
“If he wants to retire after the fight, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, he will do it, otherwise he won’t. He is the man who steps into the ring and it is his choice.
“I, I know how much he lives and loves boxing. What’s really a problem for him is all the nonsense going on outside, people saying they want a fight and not wanting to sign up for it.
“But it’s all signed now.”