Fury’s Flattery: A Pre-emptive Excuse for Potential Defeat?

By Michael Collins - 05/13/2024 - Comments

Tyson Fury was showering Oleksandr Usyk with praise today, saying he’s the “best man” he’s ever gone up against in his 16-year professional career.

A “World-Class” Resume? Not Quite

While that would sound like high praise from Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs), the fact is he has a woeful career resume consisting of just two notable fighters: Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder.

Once you get past those two, Fury’s resume is filled with Euro-level, second-tier heavyweights like Dereck Chisora, Dillian Whyte, Otto Wallin, and Christian Hammer. That’s why it’s so easy for Fury to say that Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) is the best he’ll have ever fought because it’s true.

Wladimir was 40 years old at the end of his career when Fury fought him, and Wilder is not truly world-class, as we’ve seen. The guys that Fury should have fought, he didn’t and has built his career with careful management.

Fury’s Fight-Week Flattery

“I’m putting Usyk as the best man I’ve ever fought. Better than Wladimir Klitschko, better than Deontay Wilder, better than them all,” said Tyson Fury to BoxNation, talking about Oleksandr Usyk being the best fighter he’ll have ever fought.

Fury has been shielded from fighting the best heavyweights his entire career, and the one time he did fight a good fighter, Wladimir, he was 40 years old, without his trainer Emanuel Steward, who had passed away by then, and he was not the same guy without him.

“Two-time, two-weight world champion and an Olympic gold medallist. I’ve been very impressed with all the stuff he’s done. He boxed the head off Anthony Joshua who was supposed to be a killer. He’s done a good job with all the people he’s fought.”

Tyson’s Preemptive Excuse

It seems pretty clear that Fury is building Usyk up in case things go badly for him on Saturday night in their undisputed heavyweight championship in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia.

If Fury loses that fight, he’ll have already built Usyk up to be this killer so that the boxing public will give him a pass and won’t come down hard on him as they would if he were bad-mouthing the guy.

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