After drawn out negations and some failed attempts, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk have finally put pen to paper on a deal to fight each other in Saudi Arabia.
To the surprise of most in the boxing community, news broke this week that both champions had reached an agreement and contracts to crown the first heavyweight undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis were signed.
Former cruiserweight world champion, Tony Bellew, is one man with a unique insight into how tough an opponent Usyk is, having been knocked out by the Ukrainian in the last fight of his career back in 2018.
That bout also happened to be Usyk’s last fight at 200lbs, having successfully defended his undisputed titles against ‘The Bomber’ he stepped up to heavyweight to chase further gold around his waist.
It only took Usyk three fights to become unified champion, defeating Anthony Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur stadium in 2021 and successfully defending his belts in the rematch the following year.
Bellew is in a small minority of pundits picking Usyk to get the better of ‘The Gypsy King’, but in an interview with iFL TV, gave Fury advice on how he must approach the fight.
“He has to box him. If you try and fight him and try and get rid of him then you’re going to lose, you box him.
Usyk will take the size away from him. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always said that size is what beats Oleksandr Usyk, but you have to be able to utilise that size and to utilise that size you’ve got to walk a man down, pressure him and bully him. If you try and get rid of Oleksandr Usyk you will play right into his hands.
You have to box him, you have to draw him to you, bring him into you, draw out mistakes because he does make them, just not many of them.”
No official date has been confirmed for Fury vs Usyk, with the WBC champion first having to get past former UFC champion, Francis Ngannou, on October 28.