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Other SportsTyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk: Preview, how to watch, prediction and betting...

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk: Preview, how to watch, prediction and betting offers

State of play

One of boxing’s most anticipated fights in modern history will finally unfold on Saturday as Tyson Fury takes on Oleksandr Usyk to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 1999.

Three months later than scheduled after Fury pulled out due to a cut sustained in sparring, the unbeaten duo will come to blows in Saudi Arabia with all four heavyweight belts up for grabs.

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The Gipsy King, 35, has held the WBC belt since a thrilling win over Deontay Wilder in 2020 but narrowly avoided a huge upset in his last bout, lifting himself off the canvas to beat former UFC champion Francis Ngannou on a split decision.

Ukrainian Usyk remains undefeated in his professional career and has yet to be beaten since switching to heavyweight from cruiserweight, where he was unified champion.

The 37-year-old dominated former champion Anthony Joshua across two fights in 2021 and 2022 before retaining his IBF, WBA and WBO titles by stopping Daniel Dubois in November last year.


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What they said

Fury: ‘I’m the best’

Fury has not held back from expressing his confidence ahead of the fight but insists there is a mutual respect between the two champions.

He said: “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business for both fighters. There’s a lot of stuff on the line, but I don’t hate him.

“I respect him as a man, as a fighter. Anyone would have to respect the man’s achievements. He’s unified heavyweight champion, undisputed cruiserweight champion.

“I’m the best. I’m just defending my ‘best-ness’ against him. We have weight divisions for a reason.

“When the cruiserweights step up to the big boys, usually they get found wanting. You can beat the average big ones, but you can’t beat the elite big ones because size really matters. These are facts.”

Usyk: ‘It’s the fight of a lifetime’

Though delivered in a more reserved way, Usyk’s camp are feeling just as confident.

Promoter Alexander Krassyuk said: “It’s the fight of a lifetime. The whole world is waiting for it. Let’s pray for Tyson and expect that the guy enters the ring.

“I can tell you about the secret weapon of Usyk’s, the only problem is it’s not a secret. His weapon is his mind, his heart, his experience and boxing skills.

“And the main thing about him that is different from Tyson Fury is his discipline. That is what makes him great and it is his toughest weapon.”

What belts are on the line?

For the first time in the modern era, all four heavyweight belts will be on the line – WBO, WBA, IBF and WBC.

The Ring magazine heavyweight title, awarded to the best heavyweight fighter of the division which Usyk currently holds, is also up for grabs.

When, where and how to watch

Fury vs Usyk will take place on Saturday, May 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The undercard is set to kick off at 6pm BST, with ring walks for the main event expected at 11pm BST.

In an unprecendented move, the fight will be shown on three providers in the UK – Sky Sports, TNT Sports and DAZN.

The event will be on pay-per-view on all three broadcasters, with DAZN also streaming worldwide.

Full card

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk – undisputed heavyweight title

Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedis – IBF cruiserweight title

Mark Chamberlain vs Joshua Oluwaseun Wahab

Sergey Kovalev vs Robin Sirwan Safar

Isaac Lowe vs Hasibullah Ahmadi

David Nyika vs Michael Seitz

Moses Itauma vs Ilja Mezencev

Agit Kabayel vs Frank Sanchez

Prediction

Fury is the narrow favourite with the majority of the bookies but there is barely anything to choose from the two and you could make a case for either to claim the historic win.

The Gipsy King was unconvincing against Ngannou but his durability and unrelenting power have proven too much for his opponets in previous fights of the stature that awaits on Saturday.

That said, Usyk is arguably the better boxer, with his intelligence and punching speed likely to come to the fore if he can wear Fury down and take the fight to the latter stages.

We’re going to go against the bookies and back Usyk to do just that.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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