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Written by: Bonnie-Jill Laflin. The first and only female NBA scout.

The biggest Heavyweight fight in recent years is almost upon us. Tyson Fury, the charismatic, enigmatic, giant vs Oleksandr Usyk, the cruiserweight king who moved up to heavyweight and dominated Anthony Joshua. We’ve not seen a cruiserweight win titles in the heavyweight division like this since Evander Holyfield. Usyk is a precise, flawless boxer. Fury’s size and mobility are a walking enigma. Both men are undefeated. Fury left as a champion and regained a belt without ever losing.

Fury has looked fantastic in recent training videos, showcasing some light footwork and an effortless jab. This isn’t the Fury that half-heartedly showed up for the fight against Francis Ngannou. He’s laser-focused and taking this extremely seriously.

Someone’s 0 has to go. Let’s take a look at the 2 fighters.

Boxing Odds

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Fury (-115) vs Usyk (-105)

Style

Tyson Fury is known for his size, reach, and elusive movement despite his heavyweight stature. He employs a unique style that combines footwork, head movement, and a long jab to control distance and frustrate opponents. On the other hand, Oleksandr Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, is known for his exceptional footwork, agility, and technical skills. He often employs a more traditional boxing style with excellent ring generalship and the ability to adapt to various opponents. Usyk possesses excellent head movement, slipping and ducking punches with ease. Additionally, Usyk has a knack for rolling with punches, minimizing their impact. His footwork often serves as his primary form of defense, as he uses angles to evade his opponents’ attacks and create counter-attacking opportunities.

Size and Reach

Fury has a significant size advantage over Usyk. He stands at 6 feet 9 inches tall with an 85-inch reach, while Usyk stands at 6 feet 3 inches tall with a 78-inch reach. Fury’s size could play a crucial role in dictating the pace and controlling the distance of the fight, potentially making it challenging for Usyk to get inside and land effective punches.

Power vs. Speed

Fury is known for his power, especially in his punches and his ability to wear down opponents over the course of a fight. Meanwhile, Usyk is known for his speed, precision, and the volume of punches he can throw. Usyk’s speed and accuracy could pose problems for Fury, especially if he can effectively dart in and out of range to land combinations before Fury can respond.

Footwork and Movement

Usyk’s footwork is arguably his most outstanding attribute, a defining attribute of the Lomachenko training. He possesses superb agility, balance, and coordination, allowing him to move around the ring with ease. Usyk is often seen circling his opponents, using angles to create openings while staying out of their range. His footwork enables him to dictate the pace of the fight and control the distance, making it difficult for opponents to set up their offense. Fury’s movement in the ring is one of his most defining characteristics. Despite standing at 6 feet 9 inches tall, he moves with remarkable fluidity and agility. Fury often switches stances between orthodox and southpaw, confounding opponents and making it difficult for them to predict his next move. His ability to move laterally and circle his opponents effectively cuts off angles and creates openings for his offense while minimizing opportunities for his opponents to land clean shots.

Experience

Both fighters have impressive resumes, but Fury arguably has more experience against top-tier opposition, having faced the likes of Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko. Usyk, while dominant in the cruiserweight division, is still relatively new to the heavyweight scene. His wins over heavyweight favorite Anthony Joshua must be respected. Although he is a smaller fighter, he made Joshua look like a sparring session instead of a fight with one of the most dangerous punchers in the division.

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Adaptability

Both Fury and Usyk have shown the ability to adapt their styles depending on their opponents. Fury famously switched his approach in the rematch against Wilder, adopting a more aggressive stance that led to a dominant victory. Usyk has showcased his ability to adapt to different styles and situations inside the ring. Whether facing aggressive pressure fighters or crafty boxers, Usyk is capable of adjusting his game plan accordingly. He is known for making mid-fight adjustments, capitalizing on his opponents’ weaknesses, and exploiting openings as they arise.

Conditioning

Usyk’s conditioning is exemplary. He maintains a high work rate throughout the fight, consistently throwing punches and moving around the ring. Usyk’s stamina allows him to maintain his pace deep into the later rounds, wearing down his opponents both physically and mentally. Fury had been seen notably leaner before the initial fight date was rescheduled. Training videos a few weeks out show him with a few more pounds on him. Although not aesthetic, he’ll need to be able to absorb the high volume of Usyk’s punches in a long fight.

IQ

Usyk’s ring IQ is top-notch. He possesses a deep understanding of positioning and timing, which he utilizes to outmaneuver his opponents. Usyk is skilled at cutting off the ring, trapping his opponents in corners, and controlling the center of the ring. His ability to control the pace and rhythm of the fight often frustrates his opponents and forces them to fight on his terms. Fury is a calculated risk-taker who knows when to be aggressive and when to play it safe. He understands the importance of minimizing risks while maximizing opportunities for success. Fury’s disciplined approach to risk management allows him to maintain control of the fight and avoid unnecessary pitfalls. Fury is also a master of psychological warfare, using mind games and trash talk to unsettle his opponents and gain a mental edge before the fight even begins. He knows how to get inside his opponents’ heads, disrupt their focus, and capitalize on any insecurities or vulnerabilities they may have…

Unfortunately for Fury, it does not seem to affect Oleksander Usyk one bit. Usyk is as calm and collected as they come. He’s incredibly humble which makes it difficult to damage an ego that doesn’t really exist. He often just laughs or smiles or shrugs off any compliments or insults.

My Verdict

This fight is definitely a toss up. Both fighters are masters of their own style and craft. Fury lacks the head games that normally gives him an advantage on his opponents. Usyk’s size may be a factor. Look for Fury to play it safe and calculated. Count on this to go the distance as he’ll want to minimize exposing himself to Usyk’s counter work. If Usyk can get his footwork and volume working for him inside of Fury’s range, then I foresee a tough night for Tyson Fury. Fury has a brilliant mind for boxing but in a chess match, Usyk is more than his match. This may all come down to IQ and focus. I’m leaning towards Usyk. He’s frustratingly smart and fast and his footwork is impeccable. Usyk is the volume puncher. He’ll land much more than Fury. Unless Fury can connect some hard shots (which won’t be easy), Usyk will rack up round after round of 10-9 scores. This may very well be the time The Gypsy King met his match.