We analyse the credentials and statistics of Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk as the two fighters get set for their mammoth undisputed heavyweight title showdown in Saudi Arabia in May.
Finally, the two best heavyweights on the planet are set to battle it out to determine the true ruler of the division.
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will meet on Saturday May 18th, in Saudi Arabia, to crown the first undisputed champion of the division since Lennox Lewis reigned in the land of giants.
It's a fight that the boxing world has craved for a long time - it's the fight that the world wants to see!
But who will prevail?
It's time to look at the 'Tale of the Tape'...
|'The Gypsy King'
|34-0-1 (24 KOs)
|21-0 (14 KOs)
|Won - (SD) v Francis Ngannou (October 2023)
|Won - (KO) v Daniel Dubois (August 2023)
Tyson Fury is a conundrum, not just as a fighter but as a human being.
This is a man who will proclaim he will fight for free one day, then demand £50 million to enter the ring the next!
Fury is also the only person to ever outbox Wladimir Klitschko, yet he then almost went and lost to an MMA fighter making his professional debut.
‘The Gypsy King’ survived the power of Deontay Wilder – one of the most vaunted punchers in history – but was dropped and badly hurt by Steve Cunningham, a career cruiserweight.
It is these contradictions that make the 35-year-old so compelling; you never know what you are going to get.
In his most recent outing, observers were confident that, for once, a Fury fight would be predictable. Afterall, he was facing, former UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou. Floyd Mayweather had laid the blueprint for how bouts against mixed martial artists should play out, when he halted Connor McGregor, in 2017.
It was perceived to be a question of when, rather than if, the Englishman would stop his opponent. However, Ngannou did not read the script. The Cameroonian was not there to make up the numbers and in the third round, sent Fury crashing to the canvas from a left hook.
The WBC titlist battled back and in the opinion of the judges, did just enough to win. Although, many disagreed with the verdict.
Was the MMA fighter better than anyone anticipated? Did Fury overlook Ngannou? Is ‘The Gypsy King’ declining as a fighter? Most likely, the answer to all three questions is “yes”.
Fury has turned in lacklustre performances against fighters he should beat, in the past. However, when faced with dangerous opponents, he rises to challenge.
That was the case when he upset the odds to dethrone Klitschko to capture the belts, ironically, now in the possession of Usyk.
A failed test for nandrolone and mental health struggles followed, which resulted in a two-and-a-half-year hiatus from the sport.
Upon his return, Fury had two tune-up bouts, before taking on Deontay Wilder. The man from Morecambe was masterful for the majority of the clash, but was floored heavily in the final round. The American was certain the fight was over, but somehow, ‘The Gypsy King’ rose to his feet and survived to hear the final bell. Most observers felt the Englishman had won the fight, but he was forced to settle for a draw.
Ahead of the rematch, Fury teamed up with a new trainer.
Having previously been an elusive box-and-move fighter, under the tutelage of SugarHill Steward, he was reinvented as a come-forward puncher. Having outboxed ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in their first battle, ‘The Gypsy King’ outfought his rival second time around, dropping Wilder twice before obliging the referee to stop the contest in the seventh round.
Their third meeting was a thriller. Fury was floored twice, Wilder was put down three times before Fury prevailed in the 11th round.
Those physically gruelling fights and his previously wild lifestyle may have taken a toll on Fury.
He will have to be at his best if he is to be victorious once more, but knowing Fury, he will be.
|Can switch off
|Takes silly risks
|Powers of recovery
|Vulnerable to an overhand right
Oleksandr Usyk is too small at heavyweight and doesn't hit hard enough to keep the big men at bay!
These were accusations aimed at the former undisputed cruiserweight king when he moved up to the land of giants.
Four years, and six fights later, the Ukrainian has made a mockery of such claims.
Yes, the 36-year-old is not big by the standards of the modern giants and he is not a one-punch knockout artists, but it does not matter. What he lacks in size and power, he makes up for with ring intelligence and footwork.
The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist is one of the best boxers on the planet. He staked his claim by winning the World Boxing Super Series tournament, unifying all four cruiserweight world title belts in the process.
Usyk then went on to further enhance his reputation at heavyweight.
A routine victory over Chaz Witherspoon was followed up with a closer-than-expected bout against Dereck Chisora. ‘Del Boy’ had his successes and as a result, Usyk’s detractors became louder.
The following year, the man from Simferopol silenced the critics by defeating Anthony Joshua to become unified heavyweight champion. Joshua engaged in a game of chess against a grandmaster and came up short.
In the rematch, Joshua was more aggressive and produced a better performance, but Usyk remained an enigma that the English man could not solve.
In August, Usyk battled a third successive Brit in the form of Daniel Dubois. The challenger is vulnerable, but possesses genuine power. It was perceived to be a straight-forward defence but was, instead, controversial.
In the fifth round, a body shot from ‘DDD’ caused Usyk to slump to the canvas in pain. The referee ruled the punch to be low and allowed the champion almost four minutes to recover. Many observers felt the shot was legal. Usyk regrouped and eventually stopped Dubois in the ninth session.
Will Tyson Fury be the fighter that is too physically imposing for the Ukrainian to handle or can Usyk cement his status as an all-time great?
Only time will tell.
|Size and stature
|Lacks one-shot knockout power
|Open to straight right hands
|Use of angles
|Questions on body shots
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All odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.