Fury vs Usyk – Undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the World

By Dave Sawyer, Last updated May 18, 2024

Tonight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia sees the first fight this century to find out who is the ‘Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World’, where Britain’s Tyson Fury and the current WBC Champion, takes on Ukraine’s Oleksandr  Usyk. In what is truly a pick’em fight, both boxers undefeated in their pro careers, put their respective O’s on the line this evening, in what is THE boxing fight of the century.

Boxing along with football are my two favourite sporting past-times, having grown up as a  child in the 1980’s, I remember clearly when the UK was regarded as somewhat of a laughing stock when it came to the Premier division, that is the Heavyweight weight class.

Yes, each decade in the 1900’s the UK produced a gallant challenger, arguably the best one being Tommy Farr the ‘Tonypandy Terror’ hailing from the Valleys in Wales who  took on Joe Louis in 1937 in the US, lasting the full 15 rounds.

Then there were the challenges from Brian London who took on another great, in the form of Floyd Patterson, losing by knockout in the 11th round in 1959. London would get a second chance challenging for World honours, in a fight with  Muhammad Ali in 1966 at Earls Court, a fight he duly lost against the self proclaimed ‘Greatest’ in the 10th round. Ali of course three years earlier and then known as Cassius Clay had hit the deck when his jaw came into contact with “Enry’s Hammer”.

Before my time, but the controversy of the bout with Angelo Dundee in Clay’s corner supposedly using smelling salts ( At the time not allowed by the British Boxing Board of Control ) to revive Clay, has made the debate rage to this day.

Ali of course went on to stop Cooper on cuts in the 5th and he then went on to rule the ‘Blue Riband’ division until the late 70’s. Meeting Cooper again in 1966 as then World Champion at Highbury, with the result much more one sided.

Then we had the decade I grew up in, the 1980’s, yes I bypassed arguably the best decade  and era for the Heavyweights that was the 1970’s, but seriously Joe Bugner being the UK’s ‘Heavyweight Force’ does not deserve a mention IMO.

I was 8 years old when Frank Bruno made his professional debut in 1982. Boxing back then was regularly shown on Grandstand on a Saturday afternoon, highlights of the fights held during  the week just gone. This was around the time I got into boxing.

Apart from the sporadic successes in the lighter weight division ( McGuigan vs Pedroza (sp) at Loftus Road and the Ragamuffin beating pound for pound great Don Curry anyone? ), in the Heavyweight division we Brits continued to fall short.

This was all to change in the 1990’s thanks to probably the best Heavyweight in my lifetime in the shape of Lennox Lewis. Since Lewis’s reign, culminating in him becoming the last Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, beating Evander Holyfield in November 1999, like waiting for what seems like an eternity for a bus, the UK has had numerous Heavyweight World Champions.

So this brings me onto the fight tonight. Fury the WBC and Lineal Heavyweight Champion vs IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine Champion Oleksandr Usyk.

Usyk a veteran of over 300 amateur fights, which saw him reach the pinnacle by gaining gold at the London Olympics, is arguably the Pound for Pound King, having swept the board at Cruiserweight. Then moving to Heavyweight four years ago and dispatching the likes of Chisora, Washington, beating ‘AJ’ twice and most recently defending against Daniel Dubois in Poland.

Fury likely needs no introduction, the self styled ‘Gypsy King’ was involved in three wars with the arguably the hardest hitting heavyweight of all time in Deontay Wilder. Emphatically victorious in the last two.

Extremely agile for a big man, Fury though looked incredibly lacklustre in his last fight against MMA’s Francis Ngannou, which saw him having to get up from the canvas, to win a split decision. A decision many pundits and fans alike felt was awarded to the wrong man.

So onto tonight. Being British, I have always let my heart rule my head, in rooting for the Brit. I really rate Tyson Fury, this is despite some of his and his families antics ( John Fury anyone? ) outside of the squared circle. But being a big boxing fan, I am just blown away by the ring craft of Usyk and his Boxing IQ. Plus he is a classy guy to boot too.

A win for Usyk would seriously cement his position in the sport as one of the greatest of all time. He is after all boxing in a weight class that he did not start out in. Plus it would be a massive shot in the arm for his country, Ukraine.

I really cannot call what is going to happen tonight and this is what makes it so exciting. There are so many variables to consider. They could both nullify each others skills and thus produce a comparative bore fest.

Usyk could be far too quick for Fury and box to a comfortable decision – he does after all have the amateur pedigree of the two and knows how to win rounds. Or, Fury could prove that ‘A Good Big Un’ always beats ‘A Good Little Un’.

So all I can do is direct you to Bet365 if you plan to have a punt.

If I had to hazard a guess, I am in the same camp as the Telegraph Boxing journalist Gareth A Davies – Controversial Draw. Yes I can see that…

Dave Sawyer
ConnectConnect

Dave has been involved in the Online Gambling industry for 20 odd years now. With experience working for an operator based in Gibraltar, where he headed up the IT team at Ladbrokes, to running his own iGaming affiliate websites until 2019.

Dave now writes for Casinomeister and sister site Casino Gazette. You may also see him on the forum from time to time, where he goes by the handle Webzcas.


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