Evander Holyfield has built the hype for an undisputed fight between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury by praising both men.
The hall-of-famer, who remains the only four-time world heavyweight champion, retired from the sport as one of the greats with an incredible list of achievements to back that up.
Perhaps no man is more qualified than ‘The Real Deal’ to give his thoughts on a fighter like Usyk. After all, he’s done what the Ukrainian is in the middle of trying to do – unify the belts at both cruiserweight and heavyweight.
There’s an affinity in their journeys – and that shows when Holyfield discusses the champion. He told FightHype.com what Usyk has in his favour in an undisputed clash.
“He’s a talented fighter and, you know, boxing is about boxing. The smaller guy tends to have faster hands, move a little bit better, and I think he’s a good fighter. When you’re a good fighter you’ve got a greater chance than a big puncher.”
Holyfield went onto praise Fury, who would bring the WBC belt to the table. It seems that the legend is, like many fans, struggling to pick a winner.
“Fury proved that he can fight inside, outside, and he has the experience. I think it will be difficult but you never know.”
“Usyk’s a good boxer, and you have to make some adjustments to fight [him]. It should be a challenging fight.
The 59-year-old went to suggest what the fight will come down to:
It has a lot to do with the heart, man. That’s the difference. You can fight a guy that’s 6’9 – it’s the will that you have – it comes down to will.”
We can mention heart and will alongside both Usyk and Fury. For Usyk – a man who rematched Anthony Joshua to retain his champion status while his country is in the throes of a brutal war with Russia – it’s unquestionable.
In the other corner, the British fighter famously built himself up from a period of depression and drug abuse, losing over 100 lbs in the process, to return to the absolute pinnacle of the sport by beating long-reigning champion Deontay Wilder.
If Holyfield is correct, and the undisputed bout boils down to heart, we’re certainly in for a fight.