Why Steve Cunningham Favors Oleksandr Usyk Over Tyson Fury

By Charles Brun - 02/14/2024 - Comments

Former cruiserweight champion Steven Cunningham believes unified heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk can defeat WBC belt-holder Fury if he can ensure that the referee warns & penalizes him for his dirty tactics for their rescheduled fight on May 18th.

Cunningham says he thinks that Usyk’s management team will make sure the referee stays on top of Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) to prevent him from getting away with his usual mauling tactics, such as his habit of grabbing and leaning that he tends to do.

If the referee fails to do his job and allows Fury to get away with his mauling, Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) could be in trouble for their fight at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Fury’s “Borderline” Tactics

“I think Usyk can beat Fury for two specific reasons. The first is Usyk’s ability, his skill-set, it’s unmatched,” said Steve Cunningham to iFL TV, picking IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to defeat WBC champ Tyson Fury on May 18th.

“He’s got quirky movements; he’s awkward. He thinks different in there, he takes angles. He’s the highest level of boxing that we see right now. He can land shots on Fury that can cause considerable frustration for Fury.

“The second reason is his team, his management. He’s managed by Egis [Klimas]. They’re powerhouses in Europe and around the world. Egis has a solid foundational career with moving fighters and protecting them.

“So, with Fury, we all know he uses some tactics that are borderline. I wouldn’t say illegal. He hasn’t been disqualified yet, but they’re borderline, and they gain him an advantage. Him being 6’9”, 260 lbs. All he does is take a couple of hits, block them, and lean on the guy throughout the fight.

The Fury Factor

“He did it to me, he did it to Wilder. He did it to fighters that you want to wear down. Later on, your looking fresh because they’re drained because they’ve been carrying your 260-lb body around. So, you can do whatever you want to them.

“I don’t think Egis and the team are going to allow that without Fury being penalized. If Fury can get past the management part, controlling the officiating, with the referee being in his ear, Fury can beat him if he can get past all of that. But outside of that, I lean a little bit towards Usyk,” said Cunningham.

YouTube video