WATCH: Like father like son, Tyson’s Fury’s father headbutts opposition supporter

John Fury, the father of Britain's world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury talks during a press conference in Bolton, north west England

FILE. John Fury (pictured), father of Tyson, was sporting a mark in the centre of his forehead after apparently headbutting a member of Usyk's entourage during Monday's media day. Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP

Published May 16, 2024

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The father of British boxer Tyson Fury said he means "no harm to any Ukrainian" on Wednesday after an altercation ahead of this week's undisputed heavyweight clash with Oleksandr Usyk.

John Fury was sporting a mark in the centre of his forehead after apparently headbutting a member of Usyk's entourage during Monday's media day.

"It's a sport where you have big guys full of testosterone and things happen, emotions run high," he said at the pre-fight open workout in Riyadh.

"Hear this: I mean no harm to any Ukrainian. I respect them, they're going through all their troubles. But listen, we're all fighters and that's what you get from fighters," Fury told the crowd.

Warning: Disturbing images and foul language

Violent scenes

Footage shared on X (formerly Twitter) appeared to show Fury senior go eyeball-to-eyeball with a man wearing an Usyk team tracksuit before lashing out at him with his head.

The 59-year-old was later seen with a cut forehead and two streams of blood pouring down his face, either side of his nose.

After his apology of sorts, Usyk and Tyson Fury took to the open-air ring in the sweltering Saudi evening for separate routines of shadow boxing and light sparring.

"I'm on top of the world, baby!" Fury said afterwards, when asked about his mood. "Who wouldn't be enjoying it?”

The 6ft 9in (2.06m) Fury, 39, will face the 37-year-old, 6ft 3in Usyk on Saturday in the first heavyweight unification fight in 25 years.

On Wednesday, while the rest of the boxing world was drooling in anticipation of a genuine heavyweight world title fight that will unify the division for the first time in over 20 years, Fury insisted Saturday's match-up with Usyk in Riyadh was all about the money.

"The truth is it's exciting to me and attractive because of the amount of money I'm getting paid," he said this week.

"Not because of the belts that's on the line.

"There are so many belts on the line and nothing competes with that," Fury said last month in direct contradiction of this week's soundbite.

"This is the fight of the ages, nothing can compare with this. Not a show fight, not a crossover fight, not YouTube boxing, nothing.

"This is two undefeated world heavyweight championships colliding for all the belts and it hasn't been done since whenever.”

AFP