Tyson Fury may be reluctant to think about a rematch with new heavyweight king Oleksandr Usyk but all roads lead to a second instalment of their gripping rivalry in Riyadh in October.

Usyk added Fury’s WBC belt to his WBA, WBO and IBF titles with a split decision victory that crowns him as the division’s first undisputed champion for almost a quarter of a century.

An enthralling contest full of momentum shifts, skill and courage ended with the first defeat of Fury’s career and with an immediate rematch clause written into the fighters’ contract, they will clash again later this year.

But for now the ‘Gypsy King’ will lick his wounds after being outfought and out-thought in a classic heavyweight encounter that surpassed expectations.

“I’ve just had a fight. As you can see from my face, I’m pretty busted up and Usyk’s gone to hospital with a broken jaw. He’s busted up too,” said Fury, his face heavily marked after a brutal night’s work.

“We punched f*** out of each other for 12 rounds, so I’ll go home, eat some food, drink a few beers, have some family time, walk the dog, go to the tip.

“I will regroup and then me and (promoter) Frank Warren will talk about what’s going to happen in the future. I’ll speak to the wife and kids and see what I want to do.

“If there’s going to be another fight in October, well then Rock’n Roll Sally. Get up!”

Fury was convinced he had won the fight and indicated there is no thought of retirement having earned in the region of £100million for facing Usyk in the first meeting alone.

“I ain’t boxing because I’ve got no money, I’m boxing because I love it. I’m 36 in a few months. I’ve been boxing since I was a child,” he said.

“Where does it all end? Do I have a hundred fights and break down and end up in a wheelchair?

“While I’m still loving the game – and I was having fun in the there – then I will continue to do it. When I can’t do it any more, I’ll pack it up.”

Tyson Fury was badly hurt during the ninth round
Tyson Fury was badly hurt during the ninth round (Nick Potts/PA)

Usyk will soon be stripped of the IBF belt for failing to meet their mandatory challenger, while the division’s Saudi paymasters will draft contingency plans for 2024 having intended for Fury and Anthony Joshua to meet twice with all the titles at stake.

More immediately, Fury’s camp will reflect on both his tactics and messaging in between rounds.

Lennox Lewis – Usyk’s predecessor as last undisputed heavyweight champion – felt that Fury was “boxing like he won the fight” and the 35-year-old pre-bout favourite admitted his corner had failed to provide the urgency needed given he was saved by the ropes and then the bell in the ninth.

While he spent most of the fight on the back foot against an opponent almost three stones lighter and six inches shorter, Usyk kept advancing and took control from the eighth onwards, although from the end of the sixth his straight left hand was landing with intent.

Lennox Lewis (left) questioned Tyson Fury's tactics
Lennox Lewis (left) questioned Tyson Fury’s tactics (Nick Potts/PA)

“If they’d said to me in the last round that ‘you’re down, go try and finish him’, I would have done. But everyone in the corner believed we were up,” Fury said.

“All I had to do was just keep boxing and doing what I was doing. Maybe keep my defence a little tighter, show a bit more focus and not so much messing around, but I was having fun in there.

“We put on a show for the fans. I’m proud of myself. I was hit and I was hurt and I rallied on back. That’s what the GK does.”