Tarver Analyzes Fury vs. Usyk: Conditioning, Aggression, and the Path to Victory

By Will Arons - 05/16/2024 - Comments

Former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver feels that Saturday’s fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk could come down to conditioning and aggression.

Although Tarver is impressed with how lean WBC champion Fury looks after his weight loss, but he thinks IBF/WBA/WBO champ Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) conditioning is second to none.

Usyk has put in the hard work, and he’s not coming off a dramatic weight loss the way Fury has due to his overeating and not working hard enough to shed the pounds since 2019.

Fury has steadily grown fatter since his fight with Otto Wallin, and that’s not good for a fighter who has been facing his toughest opponent for almost a decade.

Tarver thinks the judges will side with whichever of these two is coming forward, putting pressure on them.

In Fury’s last fight, his opponent Francis Ngannou was the one putting pressure on him, yet two of the judges gave him the victory. It obviously means something when you’re as popular as Fury.

Usyk’s Increased Aggression and Pressure

“Usyk has muscled up a little bit, and I’m thinking he’s coming with a little bit more aggression, I’m hoping,” said Antonio Tarver to Fighthype about Saturday’s fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

“He’s going to put a lot of pressure on Tyson, and Tyson is going to have to use that jab to keep him off.”

Usyk knows that for him to win, he’s going to have to put pressure on Fury because the judges aren’t going to do him any favors if he boxes him off the back foot all night on Saturday night.

The Conditioning Factor

If it comes down to conditioning, Usyk, this guy’s training methods are second to none. It’s a different level to how they train,” said Tarver.

“So, I tip my hat to Usyk if it comes down to a physical battle in conditioning. Tyson Fury, I don’t think in his last fight with Ngannou that he was in the best of shape.”

It counts a lot that Usyk has kept his weight in check throughout his career and didn’t use his training camp for this fight as a fat farm. You can’t say the same thing about Fury, who looked flabby last February.

The cut that Fury sustained in sparring for the February 17th fight led it to be postponed, giving him an extra three months to finish trimming off the pounds.

“I think how close that fight was echoed that, and they say you’re only as good as your last fight. You’re talking about Usyk with two victories over AJ, and AJ looking like he could be the top heavyweight in the world with his last two performances,” said Tarver.

Usyk’s Momentum

“It’s a big feather in Usyk’s hat to have those two victories over AJ. He’s going to have to fight a little more aggressively if he wants to have Tyson Fury on that back foot and have him retreat. I think that’s how you can truly determine who is winning.”

The way Fury has looked, he would have never beaten Anthony Joshua twice or even once. He’s too easy to hit, and his conditioning isn’t what it needs to be to beat a talent like AJ.

“If Tyson Fury is going backward, then I think Usyk is winning. If Tyson Fury is putting pressure on Usyk and having Usyk circling and backing up, then you’ve got to favor Tyson Fury,” said Tarver.

Like in any fight, the fighter that is putting pressure on will be winning the rounds, even if it’s not necessarily effective pressure.

“The life is going to change for whoever becomes undisputed. Life is going to be a lot different for the winner,” said Tarver.

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Last Updated on 05/17/2024