As his next fight swiftly comes around, the boxing world is assessing exactly where Tyson Fury is at in his career.
At one point a couple of years ago following his two impressive knockout wins over fearsome puncher Deontay Wilder, most people in the sport would have put Fury high in their pound-for-pound list.
Since then, the WBC and Lineal champion has retained his belts with routine wins over the likes of Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora.
In his last outing, however, he almost came unstuck: former UFC champion turned boxing novice Francis Ngannou managed to knock him down in the third round and then push him all the way before losing a split points decision.
Since then, people have been wondering if Fury is on the slide, or was it simply an off night. Even his own father has expressed concerns about his son’s recent showings and now says that whoever puts in the best training camp between him and Oleksandr Usyk will come out on top when they meet for the undisputed title on February 17.
Speaking to Boxing Social, Shane McGuigan has now had his say on Fury’s form of late, following the Ngannou performance.
“Did Fury underestimate him? Not really, I think he’s a savvy human and knows the dangers of a guy who is 280lbs and can punch. He tried to stamp his authority but then felt Ngannou was better than he thought. I wasn’t really shocked.”
He then stated that Fury is smart at picking opponents who suit him.
“Fury has mastered the skill of talking fights into existence. Taking fights that stylistically suit him. He took risks against [Wladimir] Klitschko and [Deontay] Wilder, but he’s savvy. The guys who are well-rounded, good fighters he has navigated himself away from. He’s realised there is a danger in AJ, in guys that are athletic and can punch.”
As a result, McGuigan thinks Fury hasn’t been on top form since 2020.
“He hasn’t really had a good performance since Wilder 2, and hasn’t had a competitive fight since Wilder 3. Ring rust, age, all these things are factors.”