Irish featherweight legend Barry McGuigan sees Tyson Fury having a tough time of things when the WBC heavyweight champ gets it on with rival heavyweight ruler Oleksandr Usyk next year. Writing in his regular column for The Mirror, the former 126-pound ruler really does make a good case for an Usyk win.
McGuigan pointed out quite a few interesting things. McGuigan writes how Usyk victim Anthony Joshua is “ better of the front foot” than Fury, and yet AJ was twice beaten by the Ukrainian. McGuigan also writes how, if we take away Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder, “the big names aren’t there (on Fury’s resume) to substantiate Fury as the class act in this fight.”
Also, McGuigan writes how Usyk is “a more difficult fight for Fury than Wilder or Klitschko.”
McGuigan has been most impressed by Usyk’s “epic speed,” his “brilliant counter-punching,” and by the fact that Usyk is “technically outstanding.”
So, can Usyk beat Fury? McGuigan – who of course had a most accomplished ring career himself – writes about the southpaw stance of Usyk and of how, in his own experience as a fighter, “it is almost impossible to land a clean jab against an elite southpaw.”
McGuigan suggests that, with his two wins over Joshua as proof, the size of his opponent “does not matter” to Usyk. And, McGuigan writes, “if Fury, essentially a box fighter, can’t hit him with the jab, he is going to have nightmares.”
Some fascinating stuff from McGuigan. As some fans have suggested, this fight could turn out to be a most mentally taxing and frustrating night’s work for Fury. It could also prove to be an at times messy fight, with both men made to miss plenty. It doesn’t seem to too many fans think that this one will be an epic heavyweight action fight the way Fury’s third battle with Wilder was. This is a different assignment altogether – for Fury and for Usyk; who has only beaten the slower (than Fury), more robotic Joshua at heavyweight.
Will Fury be able to hit Usyk, and if so, will he be able to hit him with sufficient punches to break him down? How will Fury cope with Usyk’s speed and constant movement? Will Fury opt to turn southpaw in this fight, and if so, will it aid him or will it hinder him (it’s not that hard to imagine Fury and Usyk getting their feet tangled, with some tumbles to the floor, this as Fury tries to wrestle Usyk in a bid to use his size and bulk against him)?
It really is an interesting fight of the highest order. As Barry McGuigan knows too well. The former featherweight champ doesn’t go as far as picking Usyk to win, yet he signs off by writing how Fury, “like Joshua, could be in for a rude awakening.”
Let’s hope the fight happens, with no delays.