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A TRAIN CRASH – World Boxing Association

Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury will step into the ring this Saturday at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the new mecca of universal boxing, where the unified heavyweight crown will be at stake after 25 years since the era of four belts began. 

The last time the four belts were unified was on November 13, 1999 at Madison Square Garden when French-Canadian Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield by decision to retain his World Council crown and take the WBA, IBO and IBF.

The gloved battle is expected to be attended by some 25,000 people eager to witness what is expected to be one of the most exciting fights of the year as two undefeated boxers in their careers will be in action. Fury, 35, has won by 24 knockouts and a draw in 34 performances and his rival, two years older, has 21 wins with 14 knockouts and no draws.


We reiterate this will be a fight between two of the best heavyweights of the moment, both of proven solvency, analyzed from the point of view of the technical ability of one and the other. 

Fury, WBC champion, is an explosive fighter, of enormous strength and also tough, the kind of fighter who falls and gets up to win, as he has done in some of his fights. Fury, 6’9” tall, vs. an opponent who is 6’3”, has not stopped repeating now that “the big one beats the small one” and for that reason he believes without hesitation that height will be the decisive factor in the outcome. However, Usyk is not too far behind him in terms of power and from a boxing point of view we believe he has a few more skills than the enemy. (It is worth noting before continuing, that the fight was originally scheduled to take place last February 17, but the show was cancelled because Fury injured his eyebrow in a session at the gym). 

The Ukrainian counts among his credentials having been heavyweight champion at the London-2012 Olympic Games, as well as world champion-2008 and important performances include victories over the puncher Artur Beterviev, unbeaten in professional with 20 KOs in 20 fights, whom he defeated at the World Championship-2008 and London-2012. 

He jumped to the pro in 2013 and in a short time made a name for himself.

In 2018 he became the fourth fighter in history to win the belts of the 4 most important boxing entities, alongside Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins and Terence Crawford, and also in 2018, in which he won the cruiserweight belt, he was named Boxer of the Year by Sports Illustrated, The Ring, ESPN and by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Usyk has not fought since August 26 last year, when he defeated Daniel Dubois of the United Kingdom in 9 rounds in defense of his WBA, IBO and IBF belts in Wroclaw, Poland. A year earlier he had defeated England’s Anthony Joshua by split decision in a rematch fight, when Joshua sought to regain the crowns he lost to the Ukrainian on 25-9-21 also by points.

As for Fury, born in Manchester, UK, and who is known as “The Gypsy King”, he did not have as brilliant an amateur career as his opponent on Saturday even though he won the AB heavyweight title in 2008 in the amateurs and made the jump to the pros the following year.

At the professional level he spent a good time more or less in anonymity even though he always won in his climbs to the ring, to jump to notoriety with a surprise victory by decision over the legendary  Wladimir Klitschko in November 9 years ago, a victory that left him in possession of the WBA (Super version), IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring crowns.

However, almost immediately after that resounding victory, his serious extra-ring problems began to surface to the public.

Shortly thereafter he showed his enormous will and determination.He underwent a long rehabilitation process and after 2 years and 7 months, exactly on June 9, 2018 he returned to the ring and beat in 4 rounds the unknown Albanian Sefer Seferi. After 8 successes in a row and a few draws against the American Deontay Wilder he climbed to the World Boxing Council all-weight throne against the same Wilder with a win before the limit in 7 rounds on February 22 four years ago.

Wilder was followed by Germany’s Tom Schwartz (TKO2, 6/15/19); Sweden’s Otto Wallin (9/14/19), Wilder again (in 11 rounds, 9/10/21), England’s Dillian Whyte, TKO6 (4/22/22); Derek Chisora, from Zimbabwe, TKO10 (3/12/22), by the way the only common opponent with Usyk, whom he defeated on points and by KO and, finally the Cameroonian-French Francis Ngannou whom he defeated on points after recovering from a surprise knockdown in the third round by a left from the MMA practitioner.

It is worth noting that Fury had announced that he would retire from boxing after his victory over Whyte last year. We suppose that the big money offer from the Arab Emirates made him change his mind…


A few weeks ago Fury appeared before the media and surprised the journalists with the physical state he showed, he looks more stylized, stronger, toned. It is likely that this new image that he offers today has to do with the movement in the betting odds for the fight with Usyk next Saturday. Those odds make him a -125 favorite against a +100 for the contender.

About the new form the Englishman showed to the public, his nutritionist, George Lockhart, told reporters that Fury has undergone a regimen of drinking water and other liquids combined with a rigorous diet of protein, red meat, onions, carrots and lots of garlic (the garlic diet they call it), all mixed together.

Let’s end with a short personal opinion of what could happen in Riyadh, but not before pointing out that one of the conditions of the contract signed with Turki Alashikh of the Saudi Arabian Entertainment Authority, guarantees a rematch for the loser. In other words, there will certainly be a  Fury-Usik II edition regardless of Saturday’s result. It is also known that if one of the  fighters does not fulfill the commitment, he will have to pay $10 million to the country, according to an announcement made by Salman Bin Abdulaziz, King of Saudi Arabia and Guardian of the Holy Places.

Now our prediction, which is by no means categorical and very brief: Fury to win by the way of the cards, without ruling out the knockout.

But it will be, we have no doubt, a train wreck because the opponent is not one-handed. And in that collision any of the two can go off the rails.

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