Usyk wants to fight Fury in Ukraine and sets March 2023 deadline

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Oleksandr Usyk wants to fight Tyson Fury in his homeland of Ukraine, and has called on the "unpredictable" WBC heavyweight champion to agree to a bout before March 2023.

Usyk last fought in August, when he successfully defended the WBA Super, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring heavyweight belts by posting a second win over Anthony Joshua in Jeddah.

The 35-year-old immediately targeted a meeting with Fury after that triumph, but the Gypsy King's desire to fight in 2022 means he will face Derek Chisora for a third time in December.

Fury's co-promoter Bob Arum recently revealed talks with Uysk's camp were imminent, and the Ukrainian – who signed up with the Kyiv Territorial Defence following Russia's invasion of the country in February – would love to take the bout to his homeland.

"The organisers are trying to figure out where they can earn more money," Usyk said at an event in Lisbon. "For me, yes, I would really like to fight in Ukraine.

"The country is really capable of hosting this kind of fight. I would be really happy to see it happen in the Olympic Arena in [Kyiv], Ukraine.

"But it is not me who chooses the venue, so I guess it will be Saudi Arabia."

Usyk then moved to set a timeframe for any fight with Fury, adding he was not considering any other opponents for early 2023.

"Right now, my team is seeking conversations with Tyson Fury, and he is really an unpredictable person, so we can't guarantee when," he added.

"For me, the idea would be to fight maybe in early February or the beginning of March, like March 4, because I am an orthodox Christian.

"During the great fasting before Easter I do not fight, so it should be all before or then after orthodox Easter [April 16].

"I want to fight with Fury because I need the fourth [major] belt, and I don't want to fight with anyone else until I have the fourth belt."

Fury has already defeated Chisora on two occasions – winning by unanimous decision in July 2011 before stopping him after 10 rounds in November 2014, and Usyk is unsure why he needs the trilogy fight.

"I don't know why he needs this fight," he added. "Maybe he thinks because it would be one year without a fight, now he needs it. I think it is some manoeuvre, because I don't know why he needs this."