Bob Arum Concerned About Fury’s Decline

By Daniel Mcglinchey - 04/07/2024 - Comments

Promoter Bob Arum has some doubts about Tyson Fury’s recent decline ahead of his big match against Oleksandr Usyk on May 18th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Arum is perplexed about the 35-year-old WBC heavyweight champion Fury’s recent form against Francis Ngannou last October because he looked something awful against the 0-0 novice.

Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) was dropped hard by a left hook from Ngannou, which left him looking tipsy when he got back to his feet. Fury would have lost the fight if not for the judges’ generous scoring in his favor.

Arum doesn’t know if Fury is over the hill or just a lazy, self-indulgent slacker who didn’t train hard for the fight. To this writer, Fury had gotten old since his fight with Deontay Wilder, and he was showing the classic signs of a fighter having aged into mediocrity. That happens to a person.

The aging suddenly accelerates, and they go from a person looking like they’re in their 20s to middle-aged, appearing to be 50+. Some would argue Fury is looking close to that age, which could be why he had so many problems against Ngannou.

Concerns About Fury’s Form

  • Lack of Preparation: Bob Arum’s one theory for Fury’s performance against Ngannou is that he didn’t train hard, even though he claimed he did. His career-high weight of 277 lbs suggests otherwise. Of course, Fury had looked average in his two previous fights against Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora.
  • Decline Due to Age: Arum believes that age could be kicking in with the 35-year-old Fury. In looking at the physical changes in his appearance since 2020, it’s like two different people. Fury has visibly aged since his second fight with Deontay Wilder.

“Fury and Usyk, I believe, will be a great fight. It’s certainly a historic fight. I always felt that Fury was a big, big favorite because of his size and his boxing ability would be too much for Usyk,” said promoter Bob Arum to BoxNation about the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk clash.

“I’m very troubled with the way Tyson Fury looked in his last fight in Riyadh against Ngannou. I was there. I just thought he looked dreadful. Now, there are two explanations

“One, he really didn’t train hard for that fight. Two, when we all put on years, we don’t function as well as we did when we were younger physically. So is that what we’re seeing based on the Ngannou fight or did he not take it that seriously and wasn’t prepared? That’s what we’ll find out on May 18th,” continued Arum.

Arum’s Thinly Veiled Worries:

  • Fury Looked “Dreadful” Against Ngannou: Arum is putting it lightly with his comment about how Fury looked against the ex-UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou last October. Watching Fury getting battered around the ring in that fight by the novice had to have shaken Arum’s belief in his fighter, who looked all of 35 and then some in that fight.
  • Fury’s Excuses: Is Fury simply getting old, or is he coasting on easy fights? Arum leaves it open—and it’s not exactly a glowing endorsement.
  • The Big “If”: Arum says that if Fury were still in his prime, he beats Usyk with no problems. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. Fury is NOT in his prime, and there is no working time machine that can take him back to 2015 when he was still in his prime.

The Million-Dollar Question

“Yeah, if Tyson is on his A-game. If it’s the Tyson that fought Wilder the last two times, and fought Dillian Whyte, there’s no way that Usyk or any heavyweight can beat him, but that’s a really big assumption. Does he have it left? That we’ll see on May 18th,” said Arum.

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