Usyk ‘manhandled’ five sparring partners ahead of Fury fight | Boxing | Sport

Usyk 'manhandled' five sparring partners ahead of Fury fight | Boxing | Sport

Tyson Fury’s upcoming opponent Oleksandr Usyk is said to have “manhandled” each of his recent five sparring partners, as the two fighters prepare for their imminent historic bout. The undisputed world heavyweight championship is up for grabs for the first time since 2000, with both athletes aiming to solidify their status among the all-time greats in May.

The last time so much was at stake in this weight division was when Lennox Lewis triumphed over Evander Holyfield at the turn of the century. Yet, regardless of the outcome, a place in sport’s hall of fame is assured for whoever comes out on top in the showdown between Fury and Usyk, slated for Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

This high-stakes bout was initially set to take place earlier, but it was rescheduled after “The Gypsy King” suffered a facial cut during training, pushing the fight to May 18th. The Manchester-born fighter enters the ring with a chip on his shoulder following a shaky performance in his most recent match.

Fury scraped a close split decision victory over UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou in October and will aim to affirm that it was just a blip in an otherwise stellar career. His adversary, Usyk, arrives at the face-off fresh off victories over Daniel Dubois and back-to-back wins against Anthony Joshua in his last three fights.

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Boxing legend Johnny Nelson has given his verdict on the upcoming heavyweight clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, with the WBC, WBA (super), IBF, WBO and The Ring Magazine heavyweight titles at stake. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “Speed leads to power – and both fighters can get knocked out.”

“I know [Usyk] had five heavyweight sparring partners, I spoke to three of them and they said he got stronger as the rounds went on, and he manhandled all five of them,” he said about Usyk. He then commented on Fury: “Tyson is a fighting man, once the bell goes he’ll try everything he can possibly get away with until the referee tells him off.”

“Will it get physical? Yes. Will he use every dirty trick in the book he can get away with? Without a doubt. It’s a fighting game,” he continued, while admitting that each competitor must use all the experience they can muster in order to prevail. “Most fighters when they get there, they play by the rules.”

“He’s got to rough him up, he’s got to lean on him, hit him low, push him to the floor, get in his face, rub his glove in his face, do all the unorthodox things. He’s got to get the man rattled in order to feel comfortable. We’re thinking that Fury’s physicality is going to be a big problem for Usyk, but Tyson Fury’s physicality is his height, reach and speed, not the power.”

Former cruiserweight world champion Lawrence Okolie is throwing his weight behind Fury in the anticipation of the upcoming fight in Riyadh. As he told Mirror Fighting, he’s tipping Fury for a win, leveraging his mental strength and undisputed power.

“I think Fury should win,” said Okolie.”He’s a talented boxer, a big guy with a good boxing brain. I think he will be able to adapt if the fight is not going his way. I think Usyk is very good but a lot of the stuff he does well, I think he will struggle to do against someone with the size and skill level of Fury.”

  • This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up the Daily Express editorial research. A Daily Express editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors here

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