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Tyson Fury on Usyk megafight: this is what I live for

Tyson Fury


Tyson Fury on Usyk megafight: this is what I live for

Tyson Fury on Usyk megafight: this is what I live for

Tyson Fury attracts attention wherever he goes.

The WBC heavyweight champion of the world is a larger than life presence and comes alive in a crowd.

Over the next 48 hours, the eyes of the world will be on Fury as he takes on undefeated WBA, IBF and WBO champion, Oleksandr Usyk, in Saudi Arabia. The winner of the megafight will be crowned as the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world for a quarter of a century. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.

As the first bell draws ever nearer, the normally loquacious Fury has retreated inside himself a little and adopted an all business persona but that is simply because the time has come to focus on the task at hand rather than worrying about the size of the occasion and any extra scrutiny.

“I’m never nervous for a big fight”

Tyson Fury

“You’ve never seen me overawed, under pressure or nervous for a big fight. It’s just a boxing match,” Fury told Queensberry. “We go in there and two men are going to dance. [It’s] what I’ve done in gym everyday, what I’ve done for the past twenty years or more. It’s no different is it? If you take the glitz and glamour away from it, we’re just two bare bums in the shower really aren’t we?

“You add the millions of dollars and the lights, cameras and action and some people would be, ‘Oh, we’re on a big stage. Wow.’ Me, it’s just another day at the office. Like sitting at a bus stop on Morecambe front, getting wet through and sand hitting you in the face.”

Fury has been in similar situations before. It is a remarkable nine years since he ventured to Germany and defied the odds to unseat long reigning, unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in a football stadium in Düsseldorf. In 2018, Fury returned to action after a three year absence and picked a fight with the most dangerous heavyweight on the planet, Deontay Wilder. With the world questioning his thinking, Fury held himself together and produced a remarkable performance before being forced to settle for a controversial draw. He knocked the American out in 2020 and then settled the rivalry by beating him in a thrilling war 18 months later.

“This is what I’ve been born and bred to do”

Klitschko and Wilder were ferocious punchers who each carried the power to turn Fury’s lights off in a split second. Usyk is the most well rounded fighter Fury has faced but the outstanding Ukrainian isn’t a knockout artist. He is a master boxer who sets traps, capitalises on every mistake and forces his opponent to work at a high pace for every second of the fight. He may not provoke the same type of anxiety as Klitschko and Wilder but fighting Usyk presents its own unique set of challenges.

“Who do you think was more feared?” said an unconcerned Fury. “Wilder, the 42-in-a-row knockout king, and Klitschko with 64 knockouts or this little sausage? In fact, I’m not gonna say ‘little sausage.’ I’m gonna say absolute badman destroyer, best man I’ve ever fought. Who did I have more to fear out of those three do you think?”

“Maybe he [Usyk] would outbox them, but for fear factor? Nah.”

Don’t mistake Fury’s apparent disdain for Usyk with disinterest.

If boxing didn’t run through his veins, Fury wouldn’t have found the motivation to drag himself back from the abyss during his battle with alcohol and drugs. He wouldn’t have worked himself back into shape after ballooning up to 28 stone during his absence. He wouldn’t have been able to drag himself up from the brink of unconsciousness after being flattened by Wilder in the final round of their first fight.

“I always believed this was my destiny”

Tyson Fury

After spending a lifetime fighting, Fury has the chance to cement his name in history. His self belief and sense of destiny will ensure he is dangerous for every second of his fight with Usyk. Whether he bullies the former cruiserweight champion to defeat or is forced to solve problems and make adjustments as the rounds slip by, Fury will keep fighting until the end.

“It’s what I live for. It’s what I’ve been born and bred to do. I don’t think I would have been any good at anything else in my life. I was always supposed to do this,” he said.

“From being a newborn I always believed this was my destiny, this was it. Some people never find what they’re supposed to do. It’s no miracle that any of us are even here. You knows it’s about 800 million to one of even being born. That’s something you wouldn’t bet on in the Grand National is it?”

Will that sense of destiny be enough to beat Usyk and make him the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox lewis beat Evander Holyfield 25 years ago?

“We’ll find out on Saturday night won’t we?”

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