Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury meet on February 17 to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in over two decades, and fans are intrigued to see how each man approached the fight.
Fury was known on his come-up as a tricky fighter with the movement of a much smaller man, but has transitioned to a move aggressive style since his comeback and partnering up with trainer SugarHill Steward.
Speaking to BBTV Boxing, Dave Allen – who famously retired for a brief period following a concussion in his Usyk sparring session – said that walking the Ukrainian down was not advisable.
“I spent a lot of the rounds trying to put pressure on him, bully him – it didn’t work. He’s a master at [dealing with that.] People have been doing that for years with him. I think you’ve got to frustrate him. Lots of feints, lots of movements, you’ve got to antagonise him.”
“He’s not physically the strongest. He’s not the biggest puncher. This [his head] is where he wins the fights. And I believe Tyson is the only man capable of beating him at his own game.”
Allen advised Fury not to fight bullishly in the way that he did in the second Deontay Wilder fight – a performance many believe was his peak – and instead look back to his other statement win to focus on movement and awkwardness.
“If I was training Tyson Fury, I would go about it with the same tactics he used in the Klitschko fight, from experience of sparring both.”
“Lots will disagree with me, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to go marching onto Oleksandr Usyk. Tyson’s been down the last couple of fights – you don’t want to walk on to a man with that ability and that speed. Start cautiously, lots of trickery, and if Usyk slows down then that size advantage in the aspect of bullying can come into play.”
Both men are now training hard for their showdown in Saudi Arabia, with Fury sparring up-and-comer Moses Itauma whilst Usyk has taken a different approach to his prep rounds.