What’s that saying, ‘opinions are like a** h***s, everybody’s got one!’ Well, everybody in the boxing world sure has an opinion on what happens, on who wins, when rival heavyweight champions Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk finally get it on in their four-belt unification showdown next February. It’s a huge fight, and it’s also a fascinating clash of styles.
Usyk, the naturally smaller man, in terms of both height and weight, is also the faster, more agile man. That said, bigger guy Fury is pretty swift of hand and foot himself, especially for such a big man. Fury might be looked at as a slight favourite to win on February 17 – or maybe you have Fury as a bigger favourite than that – but plenty of people do see this one as a 50 50 fight.
One man’s opinion that is always worth listening to is that of Evander Holyfield. Holyfield, like Usyk, came up from a dominating run at cruiserweight, to achieve greatness at heavyweight. Holyfield knew all about the task of taking on much bigger guys (Riddick Bowe, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, heck, even Nikolay Valuev), and maybe Evander sees some of the stuff he had in Usyk. Speaking with IFL TV, “The Real Deal” explained why he is picking Usyk to defeat Fury.
“It’s gonna be a tough fight for both, even though I think Usyk will win,” Holyfield said. “For one thing, he’s a tough fighter and he don’t give up, and he’s quicker, he’s quicker. So I don’t think Tyson Fury will be able to compete with how many punches he’s gonna throw. I don’t think this era is better than ours. We had more Olympians, who came out and did real well. So, I just think our era was a stronger era, and that had a lot to do with how great the amateurs are.”
Some interesting stuff from Evander. It’s true, the amateur scene has changed a whole lot, especially in the US, and this is perhaps why there are so few great American heavyweights today. That’s one point Holyfield made that we must agree with; imagine today’s best big men having to face the likes of Holyfield, Lewis, Mike Tyson, and one or two other guys.
In terms of Holyfield going as far as to say Fury “won’t be able to compete with how many punches Usyk throws,” well, that is very interesting. Usyk we know has an amazing engine, and this allows him to not only keep punching all night long, but it also allows him to keep moving all night long. As much as Usyk has never before faced a guy as big as Fury, Fury has never before faced anyone as fleet-footed and as busy with his hands as Usyk is.
Again, it’s a fascinating fight. Maybe Holyfield will be proven right, with Usyk out-punching, out-landing, and ultimately outboxing Fury? What price Usyk on points on February 17?