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Tyson Fury calls father John ‘a promoter’s dream’ after viral headbutt on Oleksandr Usyk team

Tyson Fury doesn’t mind a little distraction on the biggest fight week of his life.

On Monday, that distraction came in the form of his father, John Fury, as the always outspoken patriarch of the Fury clan went viral for head-butting a member of Oleksandr Usyk’s team during a chaotic scene in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, causing blood to instantly start streaming down his own face. John Fury has since been unapologetic about his actions, dismissing the situation as something that “happens every other week for me.”

For his part, the WBC heavyweight champ can’t help but laugh about his bombastic father.

“My dad is my Angelo Dundee. He’s my salesman,” Fury said on Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour. He just adds so much hype and so many views to anything we do. So, fantastic. That little ruckus he did probably added half a million pay-per-view buys. Crazy. The world was talking about it, even more so than the actual event. It just brings eyes from all over the planet to this event, to Saudi Arabia, so it was fantastic. He’s a promoter’s dream.”

Fury noted that the damage was more superficial than anything — “A little cut’s not going to stop my dad, that’s for sure,” he said — but the entire fracas only elevated the buzz around a fight that marks a historic moment for boxing. With every major heavyweight title shared between them, Fury vs. Usyk is set to crown the sport’s first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in 1999.

Fury vs. Usyk takes place Saturday, May 18, at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.

It’s a moment long in the making, but also one that almost crumbled to ash before it could even come together. This past October, Fury welcomed former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to professional boxing and nearly suffered one of the biggest upset losses in the history of combat sports. Despite being a total neophyte in the sweet science, Ngannou scored the only knockdown of the contest and came within a single round on a single scorecard of winning a split decision that could’ve turned boxing upside down.

A Ngannou upset over the lineal heavyweight champion would’ve sunk any chance of booking Fury vs. Usyk for the foreseeable future, but Fury isn’t stuck looking backward.

“Listen, I had a lot of issues going into the Ngannou fight, which I don’t talk about because I don’t make excuses at all,” Fury said, “because I’m not interested, because after the event it’s not worth talking about. So I’m not one of these people who blames an elbow or a trainer or a piano lesson. I’m not interested. It’s in the past.

“I’m a realist myself, so I don’t need anybody to tell me good or bad. I’m not someone who needs a pat on the back ... or anything like that. I’m just an original OG, I know if I’ve done good or done bad. Negative or positive comments don’t affect me because they’re just someone’s opinion.”

“You learn from every experience,” Fury continued, “and if you don’t, then it’s not worth having the experience.”

If Fury has moved on, it’s for good reason, because he certainly has his hands full with Usyk. The 37-year-old Ukrainian is an Olympic gold medalist who twice defeated Anthony Joshua to capture the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring heavyweight titles. He’s also a former undisputed cruiserweight champ whose 21-0 record as professional is as pristine as it gets.

It’s a gigantic legacy fight for both men, but Fury is keeping things simple.

“The man’s a boxer with a pair of boxing gloves on, he’s going to come and try to punch me in the face, I suppose,” he said. “And I’m going to try and do exactly the same to him. So there’s nothing more to it. A lot of people make a lot of stuff up in their minds about like mind games and whatever else, but I don’t know, if you’re going to let something someone says to you affect your performance, then you’re a shithouse anyway, shouldn’t be boxing. That’s a fact.

“I’m just relaxed. I’m relaxed and I’m ready to rock and roll. I’m in good spirits mentally and emotionally and physically, and I can only do what I can do.”

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