Tony Bellew Gives Expert Prediction on Fury vs. Usyk

By Amy A Kaplan - 02/21/2024 - Comments

Tony Bellew is picking IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to defeat WBC champion Tyson Fury in their rescheduled fight on May 18th in Saudi Arabia.

Bellew’s Analysis: Fury Then vs. Now

Bellew says the old version of Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) back when Peter Fury was still training him would have beaten Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs), but not with the way he’s changed his fighting style, becoming more of a counterpuncher.

Peter hasn’t trained Fury for nine years, so it’s pointless to say that version of him would beat Usyk because he’s not the same guy physically.

Even if Peter Fury were still training Tyson, he’d still be the mauling fighter he is today and would have just as many problems going up against an athletic fighter like the 37-year-old Usyk, who hasn’t aged the way he has.

The 35-year-old Fury isn’t the same fighter he was a decade ago. Age and injuries would likely necessitate the same in-your-face, mauling style we see today.

SugarHill’s Influence

SugarHill Steward helped turn Fury into the mauler that he is today, and while that style worked against the one-dimensional fighters, Deontay Wilder, Dereck Chisora, and Dillian Whyte, it’s archaic against a world-class fighter like Usyk.

“I don’t think anybody beats Oleksandr Usyk. I don’t think anybody beats him. I said it many, many moons ago,” said Tony Bellew to Matchroom Boxing.

“The craziest part about it is I think when Fury was with his uncle [Peter], I do think he’d beat him, but his style changed, and now he’s an aggressive counter-puncher, and that isn’t going to work against Usyk,” said Bellew about Tyson transforming into a mauler, brawler, roughhouse fighter.

“I think now he has a puncher’s chance, but he isn’t a big puncher. To be honest, I think he’s a brilliant fighter; take nothing away from him; what he’s done for the heavyweight division is amazing, but I think Oleksandr Usyk is the best heavyweight in the world,” said Bellew, picking Usyk to defeat Fury on May 18th.

The Bottom Line

Bellew raises valid points about Fury’s tactical evolution and how it plays into Usyk’s hands. Will Fury surprise us with a return to a more elusive style? Or will he stubbornly double down on aggression and risk a decisive loss? This clash of styles, as much as size, will determine the undisputed king of the heavyweights.

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