Tyson Fury’s father suffers cut to head as Oleksandr Usyk fight week begins

59-year-old John Fury was left with a cut from an alleged headbutt after rival camps clashed at media event

Tyson Fury’s dad John was left with blood pouring down his face after appearing to headbutt a member of Oleksandr Usyk’s entourage as the build-up to Saturday’s undisputed world heavyweight clash got off to an explosive start in Riyadh.

The rival camps had to be separated by security at the hotel where Monday’s media activity was being held.

Video footage of the incident shows John Fury touching heads with one of Usyk’s group and, having been pulled away, then appearing to headbutt another of the Ukrainian’s party.

It was the 59-year-old father of the ‘Gypsy King’ who was cut, however, and despite his attempts to wipe the blood away it continued to flow. He had to be restrained repeatedly while Usyk’s camp chanted “Usyk, Usyk, Usyk”.


When Tyson saw his dad for the first time since the fracas, having missed it while giving an interview elsewhere, he said: “How did you cut yourself like that?”

When asked what had happened, John Fury told Sky Sports: “Disrespecting my son. The best heavyweight to ever wear a pair of boxing gloves.

“Coming out with all that rubbish. He’s in my face, trying to be clever.

“Coming into my space, ‘Usyk, Usyk’, nobody’s bothering with them. I was only chanting my own son’s name.

“They stepped closer and stepped closer.

“At the end of the day, I’m a warrior, that’s what we do. We’re fighting people. You come in the space, you’re going to get what’s coming.”

Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk admitted the confrontation was a bad look for the sport and wants an apology from John Fury.

“I apologised because I thought initially that one of our guys hit John, but then I saw the video and saw it was vice versa,” Krassyuk said.

“So do I take my apology back because it was his misbehaviour? He has to apologise because this does not give a good impression about us to the rest of the world. It’s up to him.

“Usyk’s team and Fury’s team are fighters. It wouldn’t be good if it got out of control. Usyk would say, ‘Don’t touch my guys, they are dangerous’.”

The unbeaten rivals meet for the first time at the Kingdom Arena, with Saturday’s clash crowning the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000 and the first of the four-belt era.

WBC champion Lewis won the WBA and IBF titles from Evander Holyfield in 1999 and Tyson Fury feels the weight of history as he declared: “I can’t wait.

“It’s unbelievable to be out here. Everyone is on a high. Big-time boxing in Saudi Arabia is fantastic.

“I’m going to enjoy this week because it’s been many years coming. So we’ll enjoy it. I feel on top of the world and I can’t wait.”

Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight king, won his WBA, IBF and WBO titles by outpointing Anthony Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2021 before successfully defending them against the same opponent in Jeddah a year later.

Attempts to match him against Fury repeatedly fell through until an agreement was finally reached in September, but even then the original fight date of February 17th had to be aborted when Fury suffered a cut in training.

Before they climb into the ring a week of promotional activity awaits, with Usyk sure to be targeted with mind games by Fury, but the Ukrainian insists he will not be paying attention.

“I’m doing good, I’m happy and I’m hungry. I don’t care how Tyson will be this week. I’m ready,” Usyk said.

“For me May 18 is important, what Tyson does in the press conferences doesn’t matter.

“I don’t think about Tyson Fury now. I’ve seen him in a lot of fights. I don’t know how he will box against me, we will see when we get into the ring.”