Tyson Fury’s father John apologises after headbutting Oleksandr Usyk team member: ‘It’s just the way we are’

Tyson Fury’s father John has apologised after headbutting a member of Oleksandr Usyk’s team on Monday – five days before the undisputed heavyweight title fight.

The incident in Saudi Arabia, which left John bloodied, was caught on numerous cameras, with iFL TV among those sharing footage of the confrontation, as well as Usyk’s nutritionist Mykola Tkachenko.

On Saturday (18 May), Tyson Fury and Usyk are set to box each other in Riyadh, crowning the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years – unless the fight ends as a draw. Tyson and Ukraine’s Usyk are both unbeaten, with the Briton holding the WBC belt and Usyk reigning as unified champion.

John, a former boxer and bare-knuckle fighter, is part of Tyson’s coaching team – and that of Tommy Fury, Tyson’s half-brother. The 59-year-old has frequently captured attention on fight weeks in recent years.

The latest example of that came on Monday. Footage showed how John was left with a bloody forehead after the confrontation, while Stanislav Stepchuk – who was headbutted – seemed unfazed by the blow. Tyson soon emerged from a side room and asked his father: “What’s happened to your head, you silly c***?”

John later told Seconds Out: “Sincere apologies to everybody involved, to be honest with you. It’s just the way we are. Emotions and tensions are running high.

“He was a very disrespectful fella, wasn’t he? Everybody knows, if you come close in a fighting man’s space, you’re gonna cop for something, aren’t you? Or else there’s something wrong. People don’t understand, we’re the real deal as fighters.

“Win, lose or draw, I’ve had a thousand hidings in my life. It doesn’t matter to me; what does matter to me is respect for my son, and he wasn’t showing any of it. Do you know what I’m saying?

John Fury sustained a cut after headbutting one of Usyk’s teammates (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)
John Fury sustained a cut after headbutting one of Usyk’s teammates (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)

“He mentioned my son, and that was it, so he had to have it. He’s had his fight now, and he’s lost to an old guy! I don’t care, [the bleeding] doesn’t bother me, it’s what we live for. We’re fighting people, that’s a regular occurrence to me.”

Stepchuk then told Seconds Out: “We were only shouting, ‘Usyk, Usyk,’ I didn’t touch him. He went crazy […] Yeah, for sure [I wanted to punch him], but because of the age difference it would not be very fair [...] He should not look for an actual fight, because he can have a heart attack and finish in the ambulance.”

Monday’s incident followed an interview with Usyk on Sunday, in which the southpaw revealed his mother’s angry reaction after Tyson shoved Usyk at a press conference last year. According to Usyk, his mother said she would “kill” Tyson if the Briton pushed her son again.

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