For Oleksandr Usyk to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, he’ll need to overcome Tyson Fury’s natural advantages in height and weight.
Many in the sport feel that it will be a step too far for the man who, not long ago, held all four belts in the 200lb cruiserweight division – and Fury himself has branded his fellow champion a ‘middleweight.’
Usyk told The Overlap that Fury does indeed present a different challenge than he’s used to, but that he would plan accordingly.
“There will be changes in the strategy for the fight, but I’ll continue to prepare in the same way. I’ll do a lot of training, swimming, running, boxing. There will be new workouts because the guy is slightly different.
He is big and tall. So, his combinations and boxing style will be different. There won’t be any less work to do. If anything, there’ll be more of it. I will gain the necessary weight to do my job properly.”
Whilst the ‘necessary weight’ gain doesn’t give too much away, recent training footage sees the Ukrainian looking bigger according to fans.
In the clip, the WBA, WBO and IBF champion gets on the speed bag and heavy bag, and one fan said he looked ‘bulky’ whilst others felt that a heavier frame that can’t slip and move as well would spell trouble against ‘The Gypsy King.’
Of course, the Instagram clip can only say so much about strategy, and only the official weigh-in can reveal all.
It wasn’t too long ago that the word was Usyk would come in heavier for his rematch with Anthony Joshua after posting 221.25lb on the scales for the first fight. He ended up being 221.5lb – just a quarter of a pound heavier.
That was a career heaviest for ‘The Cat’, but those comments above suggest that we might see him top that this time around – just how much by remains to be seen. There’s no doubt that he’s training hard.
“The first workout is at 5 AM. Mostly, it’s cardio. Then at noon, there is a second workout. If it’s in a swimming pool, then I swim at least 2 kilometres in the pool.
The main training session is at 6 PM. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we have sparring sessions. On Saturday, as you have seen today, I run for 10, 15 or 20 kilometres. Sunday is my day off which I dedicate to praying and going to church.”