Fury vs. Usyk: Tyson a Wounded Cat or Evolved Champion? Adam Booth Weighs In

By Michael Collins - 01/27/2024 - Comments

Trainer Adam Booth feels that Tyson Fury could be the equivalent of a “wounded cat” going into his clash against Oleksandr Usyk due to his recent lackluster performance against Francis Ngannou.

Booth thinks that criticism Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) took from people over the way he performed against the former UFC champion Ngannou last October wounded Tyson’s pride, making him “harder to beat” for his undisputed clash against IBF, WBA & WBO champion Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) on February 17th.

What Booth fails to address is the possibility of age showing on Fury, who is no spring chicken at 35 and may never been as good as many naive fans thought he was. Fury’s best career wins before the Ngannou fight were against these fighters:

  • Wladimir Klitschko
  • Deontay Wilder
  • Dereck Chisora
  • Dillian Whyte
  • Otto Wallin

Wladimir was a good fighter in his day, but he was 40 when Fury got to him, and not what he once was.

Fury’s “Wounded Cat” Potential

“A substandard performance can make a man like a wounded cat. So you don’t know how someone is going to spring back from a bad performance, a loss or criticism or something like that,” said trainer Adam Booth to Secondsout when asked about his thoughts on Tyson Fury’s bad performance against Francis Ngannou last October.

Fury looked pretty sorry against Ngannou, and the fans overwhelmingly agreed that the judges in Saudi Arabia gave him a gift decision. He lost that fight, but he was given the win anyway based on his popularity.

It was an eye-opener for fans to see Fury exposed by Ngannou, as his management had done a good job of making him look great in his last five fights before then by matching him against these heavyweights: Chisora, Whyte, Wilder, Wallin, and Tom Schwarz.

None of those fighters are quality. Wilder had power in his right hand, but he was a marginal heavyweight who had a weak record before fighting Fury. So, what Ngannou did was expose Fury as being just a big guy that had gotten over by fighting flawed heavyweights.

When he did fight someone with talent, Wladimir, the guy was 100 years old and had lost his skills and had zero confidence without his former trainer having passed away.

“It could light them up and make them that much more on edge and make them that much harder to beat. I think that’s what it’ll do with Fury,” Booth continued.

Usyk’s Evolving Stamina

“By the same token, I think that Usyk has developed into a man that’s carrying that weight over a twelve-round distance than it was at the start [when Oleksandr first moved up to heavyweight in October 2019].

“When you look at him against Chisora [in October 2020], he struggled to maintain the pace in that fight, but he has evolved in the heavyweight division. So, I think I can see why you’d get the best of both of them on October 27th.

Fury’s Physicality and the “Win Ugly” Approach

“I have always gone with Fury because he is so big, so long, and can move so well for a big man like that. If he does decide to impose himself physically at times and try and win ugly, and at the same time being long and be tricky, the size of the physical task for Usyk is immense if Fury goes about it the right way.

“If he picks the right times to bully him, and picks the right moments to move and box and trick him. That’s going to be the interesting play out to see how Usyk adapts at each moment. It’s fascinating. It’s the best fight in the heavyweight division,” said Booth.

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