In what should be a huge matchup, Tyson Fury squares off against Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia for the title of undisputed heavyweight champion. Per the fight breakdown, this contest will crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000, as well as the first in the four-belt era. With four championships on the line, this matchup should be a spectacular one as both fighters enter this contest with unblemished records. Fury comes into this fight with a spectacular record of 34-0-1 (24 KOs) and as the WBC heavyweight champion. Meanwhile, Usyk aka “The Cat” holds multiple titles and is a two-division world champion with his own sterling undefeated record at 21-0 with 14 knockout victories.
For this article, SBS will be going over what to look for from each fighter along with a predicted winner and even more notes and information about boxing betting.
A competitor that needs no introduction, Fury is ranked as the world’s best active heavyweight by both BoxRec and ESPN. The champion is coming off a split-decision victory over Francis Ngannou at the same venue, Kingdom Arena in Saudi Arabia, where he will be facing Usyk. In that bout against the former MMA champion, Fury did not look his sharpest as the powerful Ngannou nearly scored what would have been a massive upset over the heavyweight champion. Regardless, he will have extra time to prepare against Usyk after Fury was unable to make the initial fight date in February due to a cut he sustained in training.
During the course of his career, the British heavyweight has achieved a variety of success in the ring. With his defeat of Deontay Wilder, Fury became the third heavyweight, after Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali, to hold The Ring magazine title twice, and he is widely considered by media outlets to be the lineal heavyweight champion. In his professional career, he has only seen one fight he has participated in and ended in a draw, that occurring during a climatic bout against Wilder in December 2018. Of course, he would end up winning the next two fights against his rival, both ending in knockout wins. Moreover, prior to his bout against Ngannou, he had scored four TKO/KO wins in a row.
Another fantastic competitor, Usyk has achieved a ton of title and championship success in his career. The Ukrainian champion has held multiple world championships in two weight classes, including the unified heavyweight titles since 2021. Prior to this, he held the undisputed cruiserweight championship from 2018 to 2019, in the process becoming the first boxer in that division to hold all four major world titles. In addition to bringing a ton of success to his native Ukraine, he is also generally considered one of the greatest cruiserweights of all time, alongside Evander Holyfield. In addition to his title success, many pundits have also recognized him as the sport’s finest pound-for-pound fighter which obviously presents some matchup challenges for Fury.
Entering this bout, Usyk had made the jump from cruiserweight to heavyweight and found immediate success. In title bouts against Derek Chisora and Anthony Joshua, he was able to notch unanimous decision victories over both fighters. In fact, since making the jump to heavyweight, he has scored five victories, including two stoppage wins. This includes his last fight against Daniel Dubois where he was able to stop his opponent in the ninth round of the 12-round bout. Per CompuBox stats, Usyk had outlanded his opponent in every round of the fight, landing 88 of 359 punches thrown to Dubois’ 47 of 290. Indeed, his defense was spectacular in this bout as his opponent failed to land any double digits punches in any round of the fight.
Prediction: A matchup that everyone has been waiting for, Fury has the slight edge here given his more tenured track record and dominance in the heavyweight division. Of course, this could change as Usyk has looked more powerful as of late given Fury’s lackluster performance in his fight against Ngannou. With both fighters showing sensational knockout power, this bout could go down as the fight of the year. Of course, both competitors will need to be at the top of their game given the extra rest from February to May.
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