I don’t know about you, but right now, in my mind, the most utterly fascinating heavyweight match-up that can be made at elite level, is Tyson Fury Vs. Oleksandr Usyk. For all the marbles, with two unbeaten modern greats going at it – what’s not to like, or get intrigued by? Of course, there is some way to go before this fight can happen (and if Anthony Joshua can reverse his loss to Usyk, AJ will be entitled to one big apology; the same will go to Dillian Whyte if he gets next crack at Fury and beats him).
But begging the pardon of AJ and Dillian, there seems to be only man out there right now who might – might – be able to defeat Fury. How does another fighting man, born from you know where, beat Fury? It’s pretty much a given that this man, whoever he is (if he even exists) will not knock Fury out. We’ve enough evidence now, concrete stuff, that tells us Fury has got, if not a granite chin, then the most impressive recuperative powers belonging to a heavyweight this side of Larry Holmes,
No, to beat Fury, to defeat him, a boxing master-class is needed. The man in the opposite corner will need to implement non-stop lateral movement so as to not allow the hammer-fisted Fury to get set, he will need to have the kind of exquisite discipline to be able to stick to a near perfect game-plan, he will need to throw getting on for 60 or more shots a round, with plenty of them landing, he will need a great defence and a solid chin – in short, he will need to use every ounce of his boxing IQ, along with showing some real heart and toughness. Maybe Usyk is up to the mighty task. Maybe.
As big as he is, as nimble as he is and as big and strong as he is, Fury can be hit, and hurt. Usyk would literally have to be near-perfect, hitting Fury with rapid, plentiful, stinging shots. If he could pile up enough points and stay out of the way from the beefy shots that took down Deontay Wilder, then maybe Usyk would be in with a good chance of marking Fury up, of bossing enough rounds, of winning a decision. Maybe.
It’s a truly intriguing prospect, seeing the two best heavyweights in the world today, the men with all the belts, going at it in a complete clash of both styles and personalities. It’s so easy to think that Usyk, as good as he is, would be just too small against Fury (how would the former cruiserweight cope with Fury’s rough and tough stuff, his holding and leaning on, his pushing and shoving – 270 pounds or so against 220 pounds or so?). But in terms of boxing ability, maybe Usyk would be able to use a hit-and-hop-it approach, where he would make Fury think he was surrounded by a swarm of bees he would not be quick enough to be able to swat away.
Again, it’s a mighty, mighty task Usyk would/will face, if/when he fights Fury, but in terms of skills, brains and a desire for real and absolute greatness, just maybe the southpaw from Ukraine is capable of pulling it off. Maybe.
Would you care to name another heavyweight who has a better shot of outboxing Fury, of hitting him and making him miss, of frustrating him and being able to see it to the final bell and collecting a close decision win? If so, please go ahead.