Tony Bellew says Tyson Fury knows ‘the ideal sparring partner’ to prepare for an undisputed heavyweight title fight with Oleksandr Usyk.
The two champions recently announced the signing of a contract that will see them face off in Saudi Arabia for all four belts.
Although an official date is yet to be confirmed, talk has turned to preparations and predictions.
Cruiserweight champion, Jai Opetaia recently impressed fight fans with his demolition of challenger Jordan Thompson, and in the aftermath many said the Aussie southpaw should be enlisted by Fury for sparring.
Responding to the idea on social media, Bellew believes there’s a better man out there for the job, saying that Fury recommended him for his own cruiserweight bout with Usyk back in 2018.
“Style wise the only thing they have in common is the southpaw stance mate, Jai is a fighter who is happy to take one to give one whereas Usyk is a fighter who plays I hit you and you don’t hit me. Tyson knows the ideal sparring partner as he put me on him! Didn’t help me like.”
Style wise the only thing they have in common is the southpaw stance mate, Jai is a fighter who is happy to take one to give one where as Usyk is a fighter who plays I hit you and you don’t hit me. Tyson knows the ideal sparring partner as he put me on him! Didn’t help me like
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) October 1, 2023
Bellew didn’t go as far as naming the fighter, but did admit that it didn’t help when in the ring with one of the best in the sport.
‘Bomber’ challenged Usyk for the undisputed 200lbs titles in 2018. The eighth round stoppage loss was to be his final fight, and the Ukrainian’s last outing before moving up and fighting with the heavies.
In the other corner, Usyk may find it tough to match up sparring partners to Fury, too. Not only is the Brit taller than the majority in the division, he’s often said to possess the skills and movement of a much smaller man.
It’s a tricky pairing that has led many in the sport to believe that he leaves the ring undisputed when the fight is eventually fought.