Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk ‘Undisputed’ – The greatest fight of our generation
By Gary Todd: When Joe Louis knocked out the heavyweight champion of the world, Max Schmeling, in 1938, the world was bracing itself for the increasing threat of Adolf Hitler and his planned regime of domination, chaos, and madness. Both boxers were embroiled in a propaganda boxing match of good versus evil, that was a huge burden on not just Louis but also for Schmeling.
(Photo credit: Gary Todd)
As the world listened in to the fight on the radio, Louis was an American hero, while Schmeling was condemned by Hitler and he was drafted into the German army as a paratrooper. This fight was described as “The greatest fight of our generation.”
All these years later, with what is going on in our world, all eyes are looking at another dictator, plotting invasion and destruction and threatening life as we know it. Oleksandr Usyk is fighting not just as a prize fighter. He is fighting for his family, his people, and for Ukraine.
Amidst the chaos, sadness, and madness of war, Usyk is in camp, training for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. The significance of this fight is immense, and the burden for Usyk is great.
Not since 1999 have we had an undisputed heavyweight champion, and with only a handful of fighters in Lennox Lewis, Riddock Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Buster Douglas, and Mike Tyson, it just doesn’t get any bigger or better, nor does 97,000 people in an arena of war.
With all great fights, there’s always a lot of talk, insults, and mind games, and Fury is a master of manipulation, getting into the mind of his opponents. When he came face to face with Usyk, he glared down at him, shouting, “Usyk, you are next, you little b**ch. Your next rabbit. Prick. Fifteen stone little midget bodybuilder. I ain’t a bodybuilder, sucker. I’ll do you as well, gappy teeth.” Usyk stared back, saying nothing and holding his gaze at Fury, and smiled. Fury roared, “you may laugh now, but I’ll end you, lil sucker. You’re gonna do f**k all, you little sausage.”
And so it begins.
In recent weeks, Uysk and Fury have been quiet, with the Ukrainian sending messages to Fury saying, “Belly, where are you?“ More significantly, comments saying, “Fury, you talk about greatness in boxing. At the same time, you say, give me a lot of money. I’m ready to box with you even without prize money.” Fury has remained quiet.
When Fury and Usyk meet in the ring, both will be ready for war, and the training, the roadwork, and the sparring will be behind them, standing them in good stead for what lies ahead.
On paper, and what we know and have seen on Tyson Fury, [33 wins. 1 draw 24 ko’s] and compare what we know about Oleksandr Uysk, [20 fights 20 wins 13 ko’s] most learned boxing people will lean heavily on the 6’9 “ Gypsy King” to overpower and knock out the smaller man from Ukraine. The size and wingspan advantage of Fury will be too much. His movement, his footwork, and his ring generalship will be too much. His toughness and punch resistance is too much. His ability to switch hit with little effort to confuse his opponents and his ability to hold on and tire his opponents out before mauling and bowling them over will be too much for the 6’3 Usyk. On paper, it’s hard to disagree.
Usyk is the much smaller man, so he has to make Fury smaller. No mean feat, but he has to use his engine and set a high pace and get inside and target the body and take Fury’s legs away. My view is Fury’s legs, and his movement has diminished every fight since the Otto Wallin fight. Fury is loading up using his jab for the power right hand more and more since joining the Sugarhill [Kronk gym] gang, where the mentality is “Knock him out and let’s go home.”
Usyk will be faster, has great footwork, and throws southpaw punches from angles. He is a great counterpuncher, and he is an economical, accurate puncher. He is also ring-savvy enough to know he cannot stop Fury with one punch power, so chop the tree down and hit him with combinations, and stay off the ropes. On paper, it’s hard to agree.
My fight prediction
Things to consider in the build-up to this fight is:
- Fury had his hands full with the 6’5 Swedish southpaw, Otto Wallin.
- Usyk was in trouble when he allowed Joshua to lean on him and was close to being stopped. Joshua didn’t have the energy to capitalize. Fury will.
- Fury will push for a smaller ring, and Usyk will want more ring to move and force Fury to use his legs.
Glove selection- Fury has used horsehair padded gloves Chisora 3 “Paffen’ Wilder 2 and 3 “ Paffen” Wallin “Everlast” and Klitschko, he used “ Paffen” Usyk uses “Rival” gloves.
Note: It is unbelievable to me how Fury’s wrapped hands manage to fit into the gloves.
Usyk over 12 rounds.
Gary Todd has been involved in all aspects of the sport of boxing for over 30 years, and he is an acclaimed international author. He can be contacted via his website, garytodd.org, and his latest book “Annie’s Boy” is available online and in bookstores.
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- Tim Bradley: “Fury is the one to blame” for Usyk fight not happening