Fury Favorite Over Usyk as Fight of the Century Discussed
With the dust barely settled on Usyk vs. Joshua II, the boxing world has already been set alight by talk of a unification fight between heavyweights Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury.
Not since Britain’s Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in 1999 have all of boxing’s heavyweight belts been unified. A fight between Usyk and Fury would represent the biggest fight this century, and present an opportunity for either fighter to seal their legacy.
However, with Tyson Fury in retirement, there are significant obstacles to be navigated for the fight to occur.
We look at news about this potential match up, and what the bookmakers have to say about such a clash.
Usyk Immediately Calls Out Fury After Joshua Win
Less than a week ago, Oleksandr Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua for the second time in 12 months.
Immediately afterwards, the Ukrainian heavyweight declared that he wouldn’t box again, unless it was against the retired Tyson Fury, saying,
“If I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.”
With his latest win over Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk extends his professional record to 20-0. He has now successfully defended the three belts that he holds, the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.
While Fury has earlier this month affirmed that he is retired, Usyk doesn’t believe what the Britain is saying, stating,
“I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet. I’m sure, I’m convinced he wants to fight me. I want to fight him.”
Fury Hits Out at Usyk in Response to Joshua Fight
Shortly after the Usyk vs. Joshua fight, Tyson Fury poured fuel on the fire of those calling for a fight between the two, by posting an expletive-laden rant on social media, saying,
“I’ll be honest guys, after watching that, both of them were s****. It was one of the worst heavyweight title fights I have ever seen, it was bulls***.”
Fury then went on to articulate how he would “annihilate both of them on the same night,” before declaring that, “the Gypsy King is here to stay forever.”
While outbursts from Tyson Fury are hardly new, his initial reaction has since been backed up by a more specific demand. Setting a deadline of September 1st, Fury has demanded a £500 million purse in order to come out of retirement and fight Oleksandr Usyk, stating,
“To all the suitors out there who want to make the fight, I’m going to give you seven days, until September 1 to come up with the money. If not, thank you very much, it’s been a blast and I’m retired.”
Given Fury’s propensity to make strong statements and change his mind, it’s unlikely that these exact stipulations will be required to make the fight happen—chances are, if some parties are able to get within the ballpark of that figure, there’s a good shot of the fight happening.
What Chance Does Fury Have of Defeating Usyk?
Should the British heavyweight be lured out of retirement, what are his chances of success?
One thing is for sure: If the two meet, one will walk away with his record tarnished.
Fury also holds an undefeated record, 33-0, and would be putting the remaining heavyweight belt on the line, the WBC title.
Bookmakers favor Fury to be the one who would come away victorious should the two meet, with odds of -275 for Fury, compared to Usyk’s +200 and +1800 for a draw.
Fury does hold the advantage in height, weight and reach, bringing more experience and power into the fight. Usyk however, is incredibly nimble, and the kind of fighter who could trouble Fury on the inside with his mobility.
Only time will tell if this fight comes to fruition.