Former undisputed heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield, has given his verdict on the hotly-anticipated four-belt title clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, following ‘The Gypsy King’s’ below-par display against Francis Ngannou.
Fury was knocked down on the way to a split-decision win against the Cameroonian debutant, leading some fans to question whether the Brit is on the decline and that Usyk may become just the second fighter to win the undisputed crown in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight division, alongside Holyfield.
Having watched events ringside in Saudi Arabia, Holyfield told Fight Hub TV that he expects Fury to look like a different fighter against Usyk, implying that his preparation for the Ngannou bout was likely not up to scratch.
“Both of them guys are good, that is going to be a great fight. Both of them guys are great fighters, but I know that Tyson Fury is going to be in top shape to fight him [Usyk]. He isn’t going to be in this shape [as he was versus Ngannou].”
The first undisputed heavyweight title fight since 1999 and the first of the four-belt era was expected to go ahead on December 23, however, injuries suffered by Fury against the former UFC champion means the showdown has now been pushed back, which Usyk is surprisingly happy with.
A new date is expected to be announced next week for their fight to go ahead in February 2024, once again in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Despite the delay, it appears that all four of the sanctioning bodies are happy to proceed with the undisputed contest, although it is expected that the winner will vacate the IBF title after the event.