Fury – Usyk Undercard: A Few Gems Amidst the Filler

By Michael Collins - 05/13/2024 - Comments

The undercard for this Saturday’s Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk event is a mixed bag for their PPV event on DAZN in Riyadh. The event starts at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Some fans like the first three undercard fights but have a ‘who cares’ attitude about the remainder of the card.

The Saving Graces

  • Frank Sanchez vs. Agit Kabayel
  • Jai Opetaia vs. Mairis Briedis
  • Joe Cordina vs. Anthony Cacace

Personally, I only see one decent fight on the undercard between heavyweights Frank Sanchez and Agit Kabayel. That’s a decent match, but not great by any means.

Kabayel (24-0, 16 KOs) has only notable wins on his 13-year-old resume against journeyman Dereck Chisora and Arslanbek Makhmudov. The rest of his wins have come against lesser opposition. At 31, Kabayel should have already fought better competition than he has.

Frank Sanchez (24-0, 17 KOs) is good enough to fight in the main event, and I would pick him to defeat Fury at this late stage of the Gypsy King’s career. Sanchez will dominate Kabayel, but it’ll be interesting while it lasts.

The rest of the undercard is lackluster, with the A-side fighters matched against no-hopers who have no chance of winning.

Cruiserweight Jai Opetaia will be fighting 39-year-old Mairis Briedis in a rematch, which I feel is needless because he soundly beat him by a 12-round decision in 2022.

If the win had been controversial or close, I could understand the two fighting again, but it wasn’t. Moreover, Briedis hasn’t fought since that loss in 2022, so that isn’t good. Given Briedis’ advanced age and two years of inactivity, he should be taking a tune-up rather than fighting the 27-year-old Opetaia again.

The Rest? A Complete Waste of Time

Moses Itauma-Ilja Mazencev
Sergey Kovalev-Robin Sirwan
Mark Chamberlain-Joshua Oluwaseun
Isaac Lowe-Hasibullah Ahmadi
David Nyika-Michael Seitz
Daniel Lapin-Octavio Pudivitr

If the promoters for this event eliminated these fights from the card and dropped the PPV price to the $40 range, there wouldn’t be any complaints whatsoever because these six fights are just filler and not worth watching. I guess if you’re into watching Isaac Lowe or 41-year-old Sergey Kovalev, you might like these fights, but I’m not interested in either of these fighters. Neither of them are going anywhere.