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

Tyson Fury’s dad John was left with blood pouring down his forehead as the build up to the undisputed world heavyweight clash with Oleksandr Usyk 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.

John was left with a cut from an alleged headbutt and the blood continued to flow despite the 59-year-old’s attempts to wipe it away. 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?”

Tyson Fury's father John
Tyson Fury’s father John (Nick Potts/PA)

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 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,” Fury said.

“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 17 had to be aborted when Fury suffered a cut in training.

Before they climb into the ring on Saturday, 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.”

While 2012 Olympic gold medallist Usyk is unlikely to be fazed by attempts to unsettle him, promoter Frank Warren insists there will be moments when he looks into the eye of the storm.

“I feel Tyson has got into the heads of a lot of people in the past, but I don’t think Usyk will succumb to that,” Warren said.

Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk build up – Monday May 13th
Oleksandr Usyk (centre) arrives for a media day in Riyadh (Nick Potts/PA)

“We will see because now that we’re getting closer to the fight, there will be a couple of face-offs – at the press conference and the weigh-in.

“Sometimes you see something that might be a sign of weakness, like a swallow or a blink.

“But these guys are proper fighters and the two best heavyweights out there by far. It’s going to be great.”