Oleksandr Usyk: ‘I was shouting advice to Tyson Fury’ during poor performance vs Francis Ngannou

Oleksandr Usyk has revealed he was shouting advice to Tyson Fury from ringside on Saturday, as the Briton struggled to a split-decision win over Francis Ngannou.

Ngannou, a mixed martial artist and ex-UFC champion, made his boxing debut as he took on the unbeaten Fury in Saudi Arabia, and the Cameroonian even knocked down the “Gypsy King” before losing a controversial decision.

Many figures in the boxing world believe that Fury should have lost the bout, in which his WBC heavyweight title was not on the line, but Usyk was simply relieved that his upcoming opponent secured the win. After the main event, Usyk entered the ring to face off with Fury, in the same arena where they are contracted to fight each other before the end of March.

“At the knockdown, I said, ‘Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah – Francis, be careful, please!’” Usyk told Boxing King Media.

“I said, ‘Tyson, jab, jab, move, jab!’ I said. It’s true, I was a little bit nervous that our fight was possibly in jeopardy. I even started to shout out to him some small things, like: ‘Use your jab, jab him faster.’ That’s it.

“It might look weird when my future opponent is fighting, and I’m here cheering him on and backing him, shouting some tips for him. It looks weird probably, but from the other point of view: Myself, my team, my country, the whole world wants to see [our] fight happening, so that’s why it’s important we do everything possible to make it happen.”

The unbeaten Usyk holds the unified heavyweight titles, meaning the winner of a bout between the 36-year-old and Fury, 35, would crown the first undisputed champion in the division since 2000.

Fury vs Usyk was originally mooted for 23 December, but the Briton’s promoter Frank Warren has now suggested that it will take place in January or February, after Fury’s lacklustre performance against Ngannou.

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