Tyson Fury faces awkward truth after triggering Usyk rematch | Boxing | Sport

Tyson Fury faces awkward truth after triggering Usyk rematch | Boxing | Sport

The Gypsy King may face the toughest inquisition of his career after losing his undefeated record to Oleksandr Usyk. It’s not a public court that will be questioning Tyson Fury, however, but rather he may have to field some difficult questions from within.

Fury, 35, has long leaned on unnerving self-confidence to reach great heights in boxing, which never steered him wrong as he became a two-time heavyweight world champion and fought to the brink of undisputed status. However, former cruiserweight king Usyk snatched the crown for his own in a deserved unanimous-decision victory in Saudi Arabia.

It begs the question as to whether Fury – who has repeatedly claimed no man on Earth can beat him – was guilty of underestimating the man who ended his unbeaten career.

Fury did pay some tribute to his latest foe and said he respected Usyk “as a man, as a fighter.” However, that didn’t prevent the 34-1-1 star from positioning himself on a different level to the Ukrainian in the same breath.

“I’m the best. I’m just defending my ‘best-ness’ against him,” he bragged. “We have weight divisions for a reason. When the cruiserweights step up to the big boys, usually they get found wanting. You can beat the average big ones, but you can’t beat the elite big ones because size really matters. These are facts.”

Usyk, 37, proved those comments were anything but as he left little doubt regarding who deserved to win the rumble in Riyadh. In fact, Fury would have been knocked out were it not for the referee giving him every opportunity to escape more than one barrage of knockout-worthy blows from Usyk.

And the Gypsy King demonstrated that same level of confidence throughout his camp. The pair were initially scheduled to meet in February before a cut to Fury’s brow forced a delay, not that it prevented him from disrespecting Usyk with some of his more audacious claims.

The Mancunian boasted in April: “I think if I didn’t train at all for this camp, I just came in at like 25 stone, and sank maybe 15 pints of Peroni beforehand, and the next day got in there, what is he [Usyk] going to do – jab me around?

“Take nothing away, but he couldn’t do anything with Derek Chisora [whom Usyk defeated in 2020]. It was a 50-50 fight.”

Usyk might argue a comment like that was indeed taking something away given the judges scored that fight as another unanimous decision. And that’s without mentioning Fury isn’t so far removed from his own controversial decision against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

Having triggered the rematch clause in their contract, Fury will now face off against Usyk in an attempt to become undisupted champion himself, with the second act expected to come in October. But while he may recover some honour and a few belts should he win beat Usyk at the second time of asking, he’s already lost something he can get back.

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