Fury vs. Usyk: Real Test or Fool’s Gold?

By Charles Brun - 05/08/2024 - Comments

Tyson Fury will be taking his first real test in nine years when he faces IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk on May 18th for the undisputed championship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

While many people feel that WBC champion Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) has already proven that he’s the best heavyweight in the division for the last six years, the reality is he hasn’t. Fury has been coasting for almost a decade since his one notable win in 2015 against an old and ring-rusty Wladimir Klitschko.

A Parade of Beatable Opponents

Fury has only shown that he could beat marginal opposition, and you have to give a lot of credit to his management and promoters for making him appear to be the best by matching him against beatable opposition.

The fact is, Fury hasn’t fought an elite-level heavyweight since his win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, and that was against an older fighter in his early 40s at the very end of his career.

Underwhelming Opposition

Fury’s wins since 2015 under a microscope:

– Francis Ngannou: Novice making his debut in boxing.
– Dereck Chisora: Ditto.
– Dillian Whyte: Journeyman.
– Deontay Wilder: Fury got lucky with what many fans saw as a long count.
– Deontay Wilder: Powerful but the boxing skills of a toddler.
– Otto Wallin: A random former amateur guy with no power or size.
– Tom Schwarz: Obscure fighter from Germany.
– Francesco Pianeta: Bottom-tier fighter designed as a tune-up/confidence builder.
– Sefer Seferi: A cruiserweight that didn’t belong fighting at heavyweight.
– Wladimir Klitschko: 40 and way past his prime.

“Tyson Fury, when he came back to England, he didn’t get the love that he thought he was going to get. No big announcement or nothing. We all fall into depression,” said commentator Ade Oladipo to DAZN Boxing on X, talking about when Tyson Fury came back after his long absence from the ring years ago.

“After going through what he went through with the drugs and alcohol, putting on all the weight, no one believed he would come back,” said Joseph Parker about Fury.

“I met Tyson Fury in Monaco to sign him about five years ago and he was about 25, 26 stone, he was sweating. I thought to myself, ‘You will never get back to elite level in the heavyweight division,'” said promoter Eddie Hearn.

“I could see in his eyes that he wanted it, and I thought if I can get him the opportunities, I believe he could win the world title. I genuinely believe that,” said promoter Frank Warren about Fury.

Usyk: The Moment of Truth

Fury’s moment of truth will be against Usyk on May 18th, and we’ll find out if he’s the real thing or a carefully packaged product guided skillfully by his handlers to fool the gullible, unsuspecting public.

Tyson has got a shiny, unbeaten record but filled with tomato cans for the last nine years. We’ll find out on May 18th what Fury is made of and I suspect fans won’t like what they see.