Tyson Fury and Oleksandr meet on February 17 for perhaps the most significant heavyweight fight in over two decades, but Barry McGuigan doesn’t believe it can deliver the thrills that the division once guaranteed.
When analysing the fight in the Mirror, McGuigan looked back even further to some great battles.
“These days there is none of the give-and-take we had in the Seventies. Ali v Joe Frazier in 1971 was a sensational fight, not to mention the Thriller in Manilla in ‘75. They went at it like middleweights. Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield came close. There might be others too. But not with the same frequency that I recall.”
The Hall of Famer mapped out a path to victory for both men, but can’t foresee a fire fight.
“As much as I love Usyk, he studiously avoids tear-ups. I don’t blame him for that. He is technically excellent, but you are never going to see him in a barnburner. Fury blitzed Deontay Wilder in their second fight, but there was nothing coming back. The first fight was exciting only because of Fury’s remarkable rise from the deck to draw.”
“Fury v Usyk will not take us back to the Seventies. It will be a technical contest. Usyk wins by getting in and out of punching range. Fury wins by jabbing him into oblivion and not letting him get close. It might be engrossing but I don’t see three knockdowns in the opening round. I would love it were Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou to go at it, but that is not easy to do at the massive weights today’s fighters carry.”
Most fans will agree, but Fury’s own prediction is dishing out punishment and scoring a stoppage.