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Fury vs Usyk betting preview: could the Gypsy King find himself bamboozled?

Fury vs Usyk

Boxing

Fury vs Usyk betting preview: could the Gypsy King find himself bamboozled?

Fury vs Usyk betting preview: could the Gypsy King find himself bamboozled?

The months of talking are over. Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are in Saudi Arabia and set to determine the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield in Las Vegas 25 years ago. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.

It is a truly special fight between undefeated heavyweights. Fury, 34-0-1 (24 KO’s), and Usyk, 21-0 (14 KO’s), are clearly the outstanding heavyweights on the planet. But in the early hours of Sunday morning, one of them will prove themselves to be the very best and add their name to the history books.

Will the ‘Gypsy King’ prove to be too strong and versatile? Or can the mercurial Ukrainian bamboozle another quality fighter and add the undisputed heavyweight title to his cruiserweight crown?

FORM

Fury vs Usyk

Although both fighters have been out of the ring for months, WBA, IBF and WBO champion Usyk has certainly had the smoother journey to Saudi Arabia.

The 37-year-old defended his world titles against Daniel Dubois in Poland last August, stopping the Londoner in nine rounds. The fight wasn’t the one-sided affair many predicted and Usyk had to show real steel to pick himself up after being floored by a low/borderline/legal – delete as you see appropriate – shot to the mid section. Although it wasn’t vintage Usyk, it was still a comfortable victory.

Usyk enters the fight as a slight underdog. He is available at 11/10.

After outlasting Deontay Wilder in their third, thrilling fight in 2021, WBC champion, Fury, 35, easily handled Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora. Last October, however, he was given an almighty scare by former UFC champion and boxing debutant, Francis Ngannou. Fury was dropped by the novice in the third round and avoided humiliation by the finest of margins, scraping over the line with a razor thin split decision.

Fury then suffered a cut during preparations for the initial February 17th date with Usyk, causing the fight to be pushed back until Saturday night. Has the cut prevented him from rediscovering his rhythm during sparring?

Fury is the pre-fight favourite and priced at 10/13.

HISTORY

Fury vs Usyk

Usyk is one of the best, most accomplished fighters of the last 25 years. An Olympic gold medallist, he turned professional and dominated a deep, dangerous cruiserweight division. Over the space of five years, he collected all four world title belts at 200lbs and won the prestigious World Boxing Super Series.

After feeling his way into the heavyweight division against Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora, Usyk produced an outstanding display to rip the WBO, WBA and IBF belts away from Anthony Joshua in 2021. Usyk’s performance over the championship rounds that night was masterful. The following year, Usyk repeated the trick, outboxing a determined Joshua to retain his belts.

The great Emmanuel Steward earmarked Fury as a future heavyweight champion after seeing him perform at one of the infamous Klitschko training camps in Austria. Fury’s early career wasn’t plain sailing. He could be wildly inconsistent but it was clearly evident that he was a natural fighter.

Things began to change back in 2011 when Fury comprehensively outboxed Derek Chisora to win the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles. From that point, the aura surrounding Fury steadily grew. By the time he dethroned long reigning unified heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, in 2015, Fury had developed into the most charismatic, unique heavyweight talent in a generation.

Fury didn’t capitalise on his success. Instead, he fought a near three year long battle with mental health issues and alcohol and drug use.

His legend only grew on his return to the ring. His trilogy of fights with the ferocious Deontay Wilder elevated him, producing some of the most incredible heavyweight action in history. Nobody will ever forget the image of Fury picking himself up on the canvas during his first fight with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in 2018. And the pair’s third and final fight belongs in a time capsule of great fights.

Now, Fury gets the opportunity to follow the great Lennox Lewis and bring the undisputed title back to Britain.

STYLE

Fury vs Usyk

Usyk is regularly – and unfairly – described as a mover and a slick boxer. To do that is to ignore the southpaw’s toughness and grit. If Usyk really was just a dancer, the likes of Mairis Breidis, Marco Huck, Murat Gassiev, Tony Bellew and Anthony Joshua would have ran straight over him. Usyk can move but he can also fight, working in small half circles around his opponent and hitting them with short, snappy combinations before stepping back out of range and looking for the next opportunity to step close and attack. Usyk’s clever use of angles makes him extremely difficult to catch with more than one shot at a time and his stamina and heart means that he can follow his plan all night.

It is also unfair to call Usyk small. Yes, he moved up from the cruiserweight division but he is 6ft 3in tall and weighs in excess of 220lbs. To put that into context, Mike Tyson weighed around the same and was four inches shorter.

If you think Usyk can break down and stop Fury, an Usyk stoppage between rounds 11 and 12 is priced at 18/1.

Fury is one of the most versatile fighters the heavyweight division has ever seen. At 6ft 9in tall, his combination of size, speed and movement make him a unique problem for any heavyweight. There are extra layers to Fury’s game. He can be extremely effective when boxing as a southpaw, making it even more difficult for his opponents to reach him. And since linking up with his trainer, SugarHill Steward, he has shown the ability to be a bully. Cleverly bearing down on his opponents, forcing them to go backwards and using his hand speed and sheer size to firstly create gaps, and then exploit them.

Weight doesn’t seem to be an issue for Fury, who can box, move, dance or press forward whether he weighs 250lbs or 275lbs. He is a master of the dark arts of inside fighting and his heart and stamina are beyond question. He is – to put it mildly – a difficult puzzle to solve.

If you think Fury will outbox Usyk and win a decision, that is available at 9/5.

INTANGIBLES

Fury vs Usyk

Neither Fury or Usyk will be affected in the slightest by mind games or mental warfare. Each have been through the fire time and time again and always successfully made it through to the other side. Both men realise this and fight week in Saudi Arabia has been a quiet, respectful affair.

We have to look hard for major weakness. Usyk’s dislike for body shots has become an accepted piece of the narrative but has probably been exaggerated. Yes, he seemed to flinch after taking a borderline shot from Anthony Joshua and then there was the whole Dubois incident. But Usyk has yet to come apart at the seams after being hit to the body. What can’t be denied is that Usyk’s body is much easier to hit than his head and for that reason Fury way well concentrate his attacks there.

Fury’s vulnerabilities may be easier to spot. Throughout his career, he has been open to the right hand and has been floored numerous times by it. Usyk, however, is a southpaw but he may be able to find success with looping shots. Fury also has to be wary of old scar tissue reopening. He suffered a horrendous cut over his right eye against Otto Wallin in 2019 and then suffered a cut requiring 11 stitches when sparring in February of this year. Will it have had time to heal?

WHO WINS

Fury vs Usyk

This is extremely difficult to call. Both men appear to be in outstanding physical shape and solely focused on the job at hand.

it is possible to see any outcome. Fury could be too long, too big and too smart and keep Usyk at range for the whole night. He could just as easily wear down Usyk, clinching, leaning on and pressing forward and bullying him to defeat. A Fury stoppage between rounds nine and ten is priced at 13/1.

Usyk may well be too elusive and too quick on his feet and make Fury look clumsy as he moves, flurries and pot shots his way to a decision victory.

The gut feeling is that a sharp Usyk can build a lead over the first half of the fight and then rely on his trademark, lung bursting finish to rubber stamp a history-making victory. An Usyk decision is priced at 21/10.

To see all our latest boxing markets, check out 32Red Sport here. If you’re up for a flutter on table games or the slots, be sure to check out our award-winning casino too!

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