Tony Bellew has weighed in on Tyson Fury’s chances against Oleksandr Usyk, analysing his recent performances and where he is in his career.
The former cruiserweight champion has first-hand experience with Usyk. He was knocked out in the eighth round of their fight and went on to retire from the sport entirely.
Now that the Ukrainian has moved from cruiserweight to heavyweight, he’s one fight away from becoming a two-weight undisputed champion – Fury being the man who stands in his way.
As the negotiations for their fight continue, Bellew told TalkSPORT that Fury’s trainer switch to SugarHill Steward has benefitted him massively.
“I’ve always thought Fury would be too big. I’m not so sure now. Don’t get me wrong, the stylistic change and turnaround that he’s had since taking on SugarHill has been monumental … He is not feather-fisted. He is strong, he is heavy, he presses with authority.
One thing I will say, he’s a bit easier to hit. But ultimately he’s a far better fighter – a more-equipped fighter – right now than he’s ever been in his life.”
However, he does feel that the new style has its downsides, and Usyk may be the man to exploit those.
“There has been little drawbacks. He is easier to hit. He is easier to work out also. You know what’s coming when he’s in the ring with you. If he thinks Oleksandr Usyk is gonna be there to be hit, he’s got another thing coming, believe you me.
That boy’s judgement of distance is the best I’ve ever seen. Ever in my whole entire life … The boy is one chromosome short of the matrix. I have no idea how he does what he’s doing. He was making me miss by less than inches.”
Bellew believes that the Ukrainian – who hols the WBO, WBA, and IBF belts – may just be catching Fury – WBC champ – at the right time, claiming that ‘The Gypsy King’ didn’t look near his best in his one-sided demolition job of Derek Chisora.
“The longer this goes on, the more it benefits Oleksandr Usyk. Cause Fury isn’t the perfect athlete. Fury is someone who actually needs to be busy, and the last fight – the shut out against Derek Chisora – won’t have done him any good. If anything, I seen more flaws from the Derek Chisora fight than I seen pluses.
That might be because he’s gone in there knowing what he can do to this man. Against Deontay Wilder the last time I thought he was phenomenal, but against Derek Chisora I just didn’t see the same fighter, and I think he may be the one now on the slide.”
The latest reports suggest the undisputed fight could be signed and announced as early as this week, with Wembley Stadium now the frontrunner to host.