Trevor Cramer

By Trevor Cramer

Senior sports sub-editor


Fury-Usyk fight will determine undisputed heavyweight champ of the world

The last holder of all the belts was Lennox Lewis, 24 years ago.


Heavyweight boxing’s most burning question could finally be answered by February 17 next year. After some skilful sidestepping, delays and promotional pandering, predominantly by the Fury camp, boxing enthusiasts will finally know who the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world is since Lennox Lewis 24 years ago (1999-2000). The sport’s motor-mouth Tyson Fury, who much like the great Muhammad Ali, has a chirp for every occasion, will finally face Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Both fighters are unbeaten. All belts on the line Fury will be putting his WBC title belt on the line, with Usyk set…

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Heavyweight boxing’s most burning question could finally be answered by February 17 next year.

After some skilful sidestepping, delays and promotional pandering, predominantly by the Fury camp, boxing enthusiasts will finally know who the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world is since Lennox Lewis 24 years ago (1999-2000).

The sport’s motor-mouth Tyson Fury, who much like the great Muhammad Ali, has a chirp for every occasion, will finally face Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Both fighters are unbeaten.

All belts on the line

Fury will be putting his WBC title belt on the line, with Usyk set to sacrifice his WBA, IBF and WBO titles should he lose to Fury.

If the fight announcement last week is anything to go by, then Fury has already won the opening rounds.

Letting rip like a Gatling gun with a barrage of superlatives and insults, Fury called his opponent among other things an “ugly little man”, a “rabbit” and a “sausage”.

Usyk, who does not speak a great deal of English, tactfully responded to Fury’s jibes. “Yes I’m a little man. I’ll speak in the ring,” he said.

This mega-fight had already been slated for Wembley Stadium in April last year but appeared to be the Fury camp putting up roadblocks.

Then there was a Christmas-cracker fight scheduled for 23 December, but the Fury camp took a farcical crossover fight with MMA star Francis Ngannou, in which Fury showed very few signs of his feared reputation in the ring.

Buckle up

He managed to eke out an unimpressive split-decision which would have given Usyk absolutely no reason to quiver in his boxing boots and was knocked down by the Cameroon-born MMA fighter in the third round.

Usyk, who moved up after dominating the cruiserweight division, gives away a significant height and reach advantage to his gangling, tall, rangy opponent, but Fury has never been comfortable with an in-your-face opponent.

Both fighters have stood out in the division, but having been on the seat of his pants just recently and down a total of four times in the controversial Deontay Wilder trilogy, Fury is vulnerable.

I know where I’m leaning. Buckle up for the fight of the ages.

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