Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk - who would win? This is what boxers, ex-boxers and others think as potential mega-showdown is pushed back to February
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Even though a formal agreement is yet to be put in place to stage the fight, it looks almost certain to come off, with a £150million mega-fight in Saudi Arabia, now possibly in February 2023, set to decide the unified heavyweight champion of the world.
Usyk retained his WBA, IBF and WBO titles through a split decision against Anthony Joshua in Jeddah in August and immediately called out Fury, the holder of the WBC belt.
The Ukranian said after the fight: “I am convinced he wants to fight me. That is what he is dreaming of every day. I want to fight him. And if I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all. I am going to beat his ass.”
And Morecambe’s own Fury responded in typical fashion saying: “It was one of the worst heavyweight title fights I have ever seen. I would annihilate both of them on the same night.”
There’s no doubt Fury has the height, reach and weight advantage over Usyk, who isn’t a natural heavyweight having spent most of his career at cruiserweight.
But nobody can deny that Usyk is one of the most skilful, well-rounded fighters boxing has ever seen, which begs the questions Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk - who would win?
His ability to hit and not be hit utilising a combination of sublime footwork and head movement is incredible, but Fury too has an exceptional boxing brain.
If the two stood toe-to-toe and traded blows it would be unlikely Usyk would last 30 seconds but the question is could Fury hit him enough to win if the contest went to the judges scorecards?
Nobody can forget David Haye’s David v Goliath victory to win the world heavyweight crown in 2009 over Russian giant Nikolai Valuev with Haye standing at 6ft 3ins and Valuev standing 7ft tall, but Fury is no Valuev – he is a giant, of that there is no doubt, but he also possesses far more skills than Valuev, who was slow and sluggish and simply couldn’t catch Haye to hit him.
Whether Usyk has enough power to knock Fury out is debatable but Fury has more than enough to send the Ukranian to the canvas.
It all makes for an intriguing contest, should the fighters agree terms.
So what do the professionals think? Ex-sparring partners, fellow boxers and boxing pundits have all had their say – here’s what some of them think:
Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk - who would win?
Canelo Alvarez – four-weight world champion
Alvarez told TalkSport “It’s gonna be a good fight, but I think Fury is gonna win because he has everything. He has boxing skills and he has the weight, so it’s gonna be different.”
Andre Ward – former pound-for-pound two-weight world champion
Ward told Boxing Social “You can’t write Usyk off by any stretch of the imagination but Tyson Fury is not Anthony Joshua. Tyson Fury has an amateur pedigree. Tyson Fury is big, he’s got a range, and he knows how to use it. He’s not conflicted about his style, he’s not conflicted about what kind of fighter he is. He knows that he can box, but he’s also got that dog in him.”
Michael Hunter – heavyweight boxer
Hunter told Sky Sports “I think Usyk would need to make a couple of adjustments, but I don’t think the weight will make as much of a difference as people think. That’s just my opinion. He’s an endurance athlete. He’s going to move a lot. It’s a styles-make-fights thing, a little different tactics to Usyk-Anthony Joshua. I think it would be interesting fight. I’m pretty sure that Usyk would do very well.”
Hasim Rahman – former heavyweight world champion
“I think Usyk is the best heavyweight that’s currently fighting today,” Rahman told FightHype.
“I think Fury imitates Usyk, and he’s had a lot of success with it. Everything Fury can do in boxing, Usyk can do it better.”
Sugar Hill Steward – Tyson Fury’s trainer
Steward told mirror.co.uk "The threat that Usyk can pose to Tyson is Usyk knows how to win. This is me being honest and I’m almost trying not to answer because I don’t wanna make it seem like Usyk is not a good fighter, which he is. I like watching him. I like the things that he can do. But he can be a threat to anyone, he can be a threat to Tyson just because he knows how to pull out victories.”
Robert Helenius – heavyweight boxer
Speaking to Sky Sports, Helenius said "It is a tough fight to judge but I would pick him [Fury] because of Fury's abilities to change and do whatever it takes to win the fight. I think he would probably punch him out because he's so much taller than Usyk.”
Eddie Hearn – promoter
“I would favour Oleksandr Usyk in that fight,” said Hearn when speaking on The DAZN Boxing Show.
“I just think he’s so good. They’re both very intelligent fighters. It’s actually not a very good fight to watch but it’s an intriguing fight to watch. Tyson Fury doesn’t want to fight Usyk, but he may have to because the money is so big.”
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