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Oleksandr Usyk trickiest for Tyson Fury says Chris Algieri

Alexander Usyk Tyson Fury

By Jeff Aronow: Chris Algieri believes Oleksandr Usyk presents the greatest problems for Tyson Fury than any of the other heavyweights in the division right now.

Algieri says Usyk’s mobility and ability to change rhythms will create problems for WBC heavyweight champion Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) and the other top fighters in the division.

Fury would like to fight IBF/WBA/WBO champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), but he’s tied down with his upcoming rematch with Anthony Joshua in early 2022.

Assuming Usyk beats Joshua for the second time, Fury could be an option for him if he’s still the WBC champion by then.

The World Boxing Council wants Fury to fight the winner of the October 30th contest between interim WBC champion Dillian Whyte and Otto Wallin.

Fury still hasn’t said whether he’d fight the winner of the Whyte vs. Wallin fight. If he elects not to fight them, he’ll need to vacate or ask the WBC to make him the Franchise champion.

Oleksandr gives Fury most problems

“Usyk, hands down,” said Algieri to iFL TV when asked who is the most tricky heavyweight for Tyson Fury to fight. “I think stylistically, Joshua falls into the hands of Tyson.

Alexander Usyk Tyson Fury

“Too athletic, too much movement, and too much conditioning. We saw Joshua get tired in the Usyk fight from that movement and that rhythm, making him miss.

“Usyk, I think is trouble for everybody. He’s very elusive and very good at changing his rhythm. Things that Tyson is good at. It’ll be an interesting fight,” said Algieri.

The speed, accuracy, mobility, and ring intelligence of Usyk will cause Fury a lot of problems because he’s morphed into a lazy mauler in his last two fights with Deontay Wilder.

If Fury thinks he’s going to beat Usyk by trapping him against the ropes and clubbing him with the back of his hands, it’s not going to work.

Usyk won’t foolishly back up against the ropes the way Deontay repeatedly did in his last two fights with Fury.

For Fury to beat Usyk, he’ll need to do it in the center of the ring, and he’ll have to move his 270+ lb frame around.

Algieri expects Joshua to improve for the rematch

“Yes, I do think so,” said Algieri when asked if Joshua could cause problems for Usyk in the rematch. I predicted that fight.

“Does Usyk have the tools to win the fight? Yes. Do I think he will? No. He proved me wrong. Usyk is a great fighter.

“I knew he was a great fighter.  I think if Anthony Joshua makes his adjustments, uses his heavyweight, uses his size, and uses his power because when he threw punches, he landed,  Usyk was in trouble at times.

“He just didn’t follow it up and use his physicality. He tried to outbox a boxer. So if he [Joshus] can make those adjustments, I think he can win.

“It seems that he’s there now,” said Algieri when asked how long will it take for Usyk to adjust to moving from cruiserweight to heavyweight.

“He looked great against Anthony Joshua. He’s physically filled in, he looked strong, and he wobbled Joshua a few times and hit him with some big shots. So I think he’s matured into the weight class already,” said Algieri.

Joshua has to improve for the rematch with Usyk because he looked so bad.

The bar is low right now for Joshua to make improvements over his loss to Usyk last September, and he should be able to correct the mistakes he made.

Fury is an exceptional athlete 

“I think he’s an exceptional athlete all the way around,” Algieri said about Tyson Fury. “He’s a special case.

“To be that tall, that athletic at that size is incredible. Also, to have the endurance, like you said. He does it for 12 rounds and sometimes makes it look easy.

“He’s got great upper body rhythm, great awareness in the ring, and fantastic conditioning, and he’s got power too.

“He’s the total package, and he’s one of the best heavyweights we’ve ever seen. People talk a lot about his body. It doesn’t matter. An athlete isn’t just shredded.

“That’s not always the best for certain people. I’ve actually talked to Tyson about this and heard him say, ‘Stay fat’ to some other guys.

“Andy Ruiz, for example, lost a lot of weight and couldn’t take the punches as well. Chris Arreola dropped him with a right hand.

“I thought that was a bad idea for him to lose weight anyway. It’s not about what the body looks like when it comes to performance.

“It’s how you feel in your body, and everyone’s genes are different. Tyson Fury is different genes, and he’s also an exceptional athlete all around,”  said Algieri.

Fury is a great athlete with his size, conditioning, and boxing skills. It’s too bad he hasn’t had the chance to fight a lot of the top heavyweights.

He used up a good portion of his career when he celebrated his victory over past his prime 40-year-old Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. After the win, Fury didn’t fight again for two and a half years, returning to the ring in 2017.

If Fury had that time back, he would have likely already fought Anthony Joshua once or twice and some other heavyweights.

Super heavyweight era

“I think athletes are different now,” said Algieri. “You look at a guy like Anthony Joshua. For one, heavyweights are bigger. Tyson Fury 277, Deontay Wilder 238.

“Even the Klitschko brothers, 248, 252, and all around the 250 range. These super heavyweights are a different breed now.

“They’re bigger, so the conditioning is not going to be the same, carrying around that kind of body size. Ali was 213.

“It’s almost like a different weight class, and he moved like a lightweight. Different sized guys. If you looked at the era before that.

“Marciano, Ezzard Charles and Jersey Joe Walcott. They were 185 pounds. Those were the heavyweights.

“So I think the era is changing, and guys are getting bigger. So the conditioning and their outputs are going to be different,” Algieri added.

You can’t call Oleksandr Usyk a super heavyweight, yet he already beat Anthony Joshua, showing size isn’t always a barometer for success.

It’s fair to say that if a prime Mike Tyson were around today, he would be a nightmare for any of the super heavyweights in the division, including Fury.

Tyson Fury one of the heavyweight greats

“I think he’s up there in the talks of heavyweight greats, I really do,” said Algieri when asked ‘how good is Tyson Fury.’

“I don’t think he’s done. You need to have great match-ups to be great. Certain fighters had trouble cementing their history—Roy Jones Jr., for example.

“A lot of people said he didn’t have that great match-up to elevate him to that superstar status, although he did anyway.

“Tyson is the opposite. He hasn’t had that many fights obviously, he has a perfect record, but he’s beaten an all-time great in Klitschko.

“Wilder, who I believe is one of the single best punchers we’ve ever seen.

“A one-punch knockout artist, possibly the best. George Foreman, Earnie Shavers, but Wilder, one punch.

“So, he’s [Fury] had those match-ups, those elevation-type fights. I want to see what he does from here.

“I want to see the Joshua fight; I want to see Usyk. And I want to see these fights happen,” said Algieri.

It’s challenging to view Fury as one of the heavyweight greats already because he hasn’t beaten enough top-level fighters during his career.

Fury’s three fights with Deontay Wilder used up a lot of time in his career, and he’s not had the opportunity to mix it with Anthony Joshua yet, Usyk, or Dillian Whyte.

Fury’s best opponents:

  • Wladimir Klitschko
  • Deontay Wilder
  • Otto Wallin

That’s essentially it for Fury as far as his experience against quality opposition.

When you take those fighters out of the equation, Fury’s best wins were against these fighters:

  • Derek Chisora
  • Christian Hammer
  • Steve Cunningham
  • John McDermott

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