Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk: Fury opens as a heavy favourite

The fight boxing fans have been waiting for looks like it’s on the cards, with late April pencilled in for the unification bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. Disputes over a 50-50 purse split appear settled, as Fury pushes to solidify his claim as the greatest to step foot in the ring.

There is no doubt that this fight will deliver. Both are incredible technicians, building styles around footwork, fast hands, and head movement, as opposed to the one-punch knockout power synonymous with Deontay Wilder. But the question remains, can Usyk work his way inside the jab of the 6’9 monster Fury?

Odds in Fury’s favour

Although the odds are heavily stacked in favour of the Gypsy King, there is plenty of value elsewhere in this bout. If you’re looking to enjoy the best game with the best odds, it’s worth checking a boxing betting guide and browsing the markets, before taking a look at each competitor’s previous fights to see where you can find value.

The bookies currently have Fury as a -200 favourite, with Usyk a +150 underdog. (01/03/23) Although a Fury win doesn’t necessarily look that appealing, those odds will increase when a Fury win is coupled with a method of victory. The Gypsy King has won his previous four fights by stoppage: a Fury win via KO/TKO would provide better odds.

When the two champions stand face-to-face, it’s impossible to ignore the difference in physique. Fury’s height advantage translates to a seven-inch reach advantage, a massive difference given the effectiveness of the Mancunian’s jab.

Fury will also be the far heavier man on the night. For his recent knockout victory over Derek Chisora, Fury weighed in at around 268lbs, over 45lbs heavier than Usyk weighed in for his rematch against Anthony Joshua.

Fury’s length will play a factor, but Usyk is no stranger to fighting bigger men. Twice he has dispatched of Joshua, as well as 240lbs Chazz Witherspoon and Chisora in the years prior. So, whilst there is no doubt the Ukranian can compete at an elite heavyweight level, the major question is whether his power translates. In his four-fight foray into the division, he has only managed to stop the now-retired Witherspoon.

Who has the superior record?

Both men will enter the ring undefeated. Usyk’s 20-0 record includes a run to unifying the Cruiserweight titles in which he beat Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev, before defending his belts in style against Brit Tony Bellew. He has since put on boxing masterclasses against Chisora and Joshua, fending off the latter a second time in his most recent split decision win.

Fury’s 33-0-1 record is equally impressive. His rise to the top culminated in a mammoth showdown against Wladimir Klitschko in Germany, where Fury put together the best performance of his career to win via unanimous decision against one of the greatest boxers of all time.

After a near three-year absence, Fury returned and made a beeline for the top. Following victories against Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta, Fury fought to a draw against Wilder in one of the most highly anticipated heavyweight boxing bouts ever. When the two met for a sequel and trilogy, Fury had elevated his game to the next level, stopping the Bronze Bomber on both occasions.

Which boxer holds the belts?

Tyson Fury holds the title of lineal champion, as well as occupying the WBC Heavyweight title. His opponent Usyk holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and ‘The Ring’ titles.

This unification bout would not only decide, once and for all, who is the best heavyweight boxer on the planet, but it would also further either man’s claim to being the greatest to ever do it.

Share this story

must see