Oleksandr Usyk
Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk (left) fights against Britain's Tyson Fury during a heavyweight boxing world championship fight at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 19, 2024. Oleksandr Usyk beat Tyson Fury by split decision to win the world's first undisputed heavyweight championship in 25 years on May 19, 2024, an unprecedented feat in boxing's four-belt era. Image Credit: AFP

Riyadh: Heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury claimed that sympathy for Ukraine influenced the judges' decision to award a split-decision victory to Oleksandr Usyk in their heavyweight title fight on Sunday. The Briton is now calling for an immediate rematch.

Fury appeared to be in control during the middle rounds but never fully recovered from a standing eight count in the ninth round. The judges ultimately awarded the fight to Usyk, making him the first undisputed heavyweight champion in nearly 25 years.

"I believe I won that fight. He won a few rounds, but I won the majority of them. His country's at war, and people are siding with the country at war. But make no mistake, I won that fight," Fury said in a post-fight interview.

Ukraine has been engaged in a conflict with Russia for over two years.

"I'll be back. I've got a rematch clause," said Fury, who was previously undefeated. Promoter Frank Warren confirmed that a rematch is a certainty. "That's what the contract says. It's what he wants. It's Tyson's call. So whatever he wants to do, it's up to him," Warren stated.

The 12-round battle was intriguing, with both fighters experiencing moments of success. Many boxing fans would relish a rematch, especially after Usyk managed to turn the tide.

"We'll go back to our families and I'll see him again in October. We'll rest up. I believe I won the fight, but I'm not going to sit and cry and make excuses. We'll run it again in October," Fury said.

Asked if he would be prepared to face Fury again, Usyk, who did not directly respond to Fury's claims, was unequivocal. "Yes, of course," said the 37-year-old Ukrainian.