Tyson Fury will put his WBC World Title on the line against Oleksandr Usyk’s WBO, IBF and WBA next year.
The fight is now signed following a tougher-than-expected fight for Fury against MMA star and boxing debutant, Francis Ngannou.
‘The Gypsy King’ was dropped in the third round and looked a shadow of his usual self. Despite getting the win, his stock dropped in the eyes of many.
Speaking to Pro Box TV in the immediate aftermath, famed trainer and analyst Teddy Atlas said he has always backed Usyk even before the Ngannou fight.
“How do you go against Usyk since he won the Gold medal, unified the cruiserweight titles, stepped up to heavyweight, won the titles? Everybody was checking the boxes of all the advantages that Fury had over Usyk. He’s bigger, he can fight on the outside, he can fight on the inside. Everybody loves Fury. From the beginning, before this, I can’t go against Usyk.
I love Fury. Very well-rounded. And he had an off performance [against Ngannou], maybe mentally he wasn’t quite ready. Fury thought it would be easy.”
Atlas summed it up by saying Usyk, despite all that’s not in his favour, simply ‘knows how to win.’
“I can’t go against Usyk, because there’s one box nobody’s checking. Yeah they’re saying the other guy’s got the jab, can box, he’s the bigger man. Usyk has one asset that he’s always had. You know what it is? He knows how to win.”
All predictions will be put to the test come February 17 when the Brit and Ukrainian lace up and face off to crown the division’s first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.