Oleksandr Usyk says Tyson Fury will be his most difficult opponent at heavyweight
By Charles Brun: In a clear example of a fighter counting his chickens before they’ve hatched, Oleksandr Usyk is saying that Tyson Fury will be his toughest opponent in the heavyweight division.
Usyk is the WBO mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs), but he’s not expected to get that fight against him next. He may need to face Dereck Chisora while Joshua takes care of his IBF mandatory first against Kubrat Pulev.
Usyk thinks Fury would be the toughest, but he hasn’t fought anyone good yet in the weight class to give him a true gauge of who would really be the toughest.
Usyk hasn’t fought anyone with size, power and the ability to cut off the ring on him at heavyweight. Against Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder, Usyk would have no margin for error. Those would eventually land cleanly on Usyk no matter how much he moves, it could be the end of the night for him.
Considering that Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) has only had ONE fight at heavyweight against 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon last October, it seems like he’s getting ahead of himself in calling Fury his toughest test. Usyk didn’t look good against the badly slowed, fat and out of shape Witherspoon.
Tyson Fury the most difficult opponent says Usyk at heavyweight
Usyk looked terrible throughout his fight against the past his prime Witherspoon, and it was fortunate that he was fighting him. In terms of power, Usyk showed no strength on his shots to speak of, he was easy to hit, and his face was badly marked up after 7 rounds. The way that Usyk performed, his chances of beating even 36-year-old high level journeyman Dereck Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) are slim.
“I think with Fury it will be the most difficult. He’s very unpredictable, two meters tall. It’s not clear what is in his head, like mine,” said Usyk via @MichaelBensonn
Usyk is small for a heavyweight at 215 lbs, but there are other fighters in the division that are just as light, but hit harder than him. Michael Hunter, Alexander Povetkin, and Deontay Wilder are about the same weight as Usyk, but punch harder than him.
In the cruiserweight division, Usyk won his fights by jabbing, and throwing lighter punches against the more powerful fighters in weight class. It worked for Usyk, because he was able to land and move to win fights. However, he barely beat Mairis Briedis and he struggled badly against Hunter and Tony Bellew.
Usyk didn’t perform well in those fights, and that was at the cruiserweight level. Usyk stopped Bellew in the 8th, but only because Tony ran out of gas. That fight took place at the end of Bellew’s career, and he wasn’t the same guy that he’s been several years earlier.
🐁🐈 Oleksandr Usyk on the transition from cruiserweight to heavyweight: “You see, gaining weight is not a problem, but the correct weight gain is a little more difficult. A fat cat doesn’t catch mice.”
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) January 8, 2020