Fury warned ‘nobody beats Usyk’ with the key change that has cost him | Boxing | Sport

Fury warned 'nobody beats Usyk' with the key change that has cost him | Boxing | Sport

Former WBC cruiserweight title holder Tony Bellew has offered a brutal opinion that Tyson Fury only has a ‘puncher’s chance’ inhis upcoming unified heavyweight unification bout against Oleksandr Usyk. The ‘Gypsy King’ was due to fight the Ukrainian in February but the contest has been pushed back to May 18.

The once-in-a-generation title showdown between the WBC heavyweight champion Fury and the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belt holder Usyk was postponed at the start of this month. However, the landmark event in Saudi Arabia was pushed back as the former sustained a nasty gash above his eye, requiring 15 stitches.

The cut came about when the 35-year-old was sparring with boxing and MMA star MMA fighter Argon Smakici in preparation for the milestone bout. With the new date now set for the fight with Usyk, however, it appears that Fury does not have the backing of one leading UK boxing figure. 

The Manchester-born star struggled past ex-UFC fighter Francis Ngannou on his comeback last year, and Bellew is unconvinced he will get past Usyk in the Spring. He told Matchroom Boxing: “I don’t think anybody beats Oleksandr Usyk. I don’t think anybody beats him. I said it many many moons ago. I think now [Fury] has a puncher’s chance but he isn’t a big puncher to be honest.”

“The craziest part about it is I think when Fury was with his uncle I do think he beat him but his style changed and now he’s an aggressive counter puncher and that isn’t going to work against Usyk. I think he’s [Fury] a brilliant fighter, take nothing away from him, what he’s done for the heavyweight division is amazing but I think Oleksandr Usyk is the best heavyweight in the world.”

There is no love lost between the two stars, with Fury having previously dismissed the Liverpudlian’s assertion that Anthony Joshua should receive a 50/50 split for any bout versus the ‘Gypsy King’ on home soil. In a typically cutting put-down, Fury simply dubbed Bellew a ‘Anthony Joshua fanboy’.

Meanwhile, Fury’s manager Spencer Brown told iFL TV has turned his ire on conspiracy theorists who had speculated that his client was struggling in sparring before his cancelled fight with Usyk. He laughed: “It boggles belief, we were looking at some of it laughing our heads off. These conspiracy theories, it was actually very funny.”

Previously, a spokesperson for Fury admitted that the star was dejected at being unable to fight earlier in February, saying: “Whilst this is still breaking news it is clearly a massive disappointment, after the work that has been done by so many people to finally deliver this historic event to the world.

“Once the doctors have appraised Tyson’s eye, we will have a better idea of the period of recovery needed. Once known we will work diligently with all the stake- holders and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reschedule this fight as soon as possible and will of course keep everyone updated with developments.”

Tyson’s disappointment was palpable, as he added: “I am absolutely devastated after preparing for this fight for so long and being in such superb condition. I feel bad for everyone involved in this huge event and I will work diligently towards the rescheduled date once the eye has healed.

“I can only apologise to everyone affected including my own team, Team Usyk, the undercard fighters, partners, and fans as well as our hosts and my friends in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

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