Fury vs Usyk Betting Preview

May 16, 2024
2 weeks

Tyson Fury fighting to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era this Saturday in Saudi Arabia seems appropriate. It also seems absurd. No one has come close to derailing a brilliant career quite like Fury has.

Drug problems wiped out nearly three years of his prime. When Fury came back, he had a trilogy of wild fights against American heavyweight Deontay Wilder. After beating Wilder in October 2021 to put the series 2-0-1 in his favor, Fury retired.

That retirement didn’t even last six months. But Oleksandr Usyk was able to keep Fury interested in fighting. But as always with Fury, it’s hard to tell how seriously he is taking everything. Fury cuts a cartoonish figure by standing at 6-foot-9.

His showmanship and personality show he likes to clown as well. Usyk, a native of Ukraine, is not a clown. Online boxing news shows that he is a serious and dedicated fighter. A pair of wins over Anthony Joshua shows he’s legitimate. Now, it’s time to see which man can become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in boxing since Lennox Lewis accomplished the feat in the late 1990s.

Does Size Matter?

Fury is often criticized for his conditioning or his weight. But Fury was never a fighter who looked like he was cut from marble. Fury always tends to use his advantage in height and weight over his opponent to lean on them and make him feel his weight. Fury will have a six-inch height advantage and a seven-inch reach advantage over Usyk.

Usyk would like to use his leaner frame to make use of a speed advantage. While Usyk won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, he fought most of his professional career at cruiserweight.

Usyk didn’t enter the heavyweight title picture until 2020, when he beat Derek Chisora by unanimous decision to win the WBO Inter-Continental title. That victory compelled many to believe he could challenge Anthony Joshua for the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles. 

Usyk proved it was no joke when he defeated Joshua in a rematch in 2022 via split decision to hold onto the belts. He then defended again when he knocked out Daniel Dubois last August, according to boxing news latest headlines.

What to Make of Ngannou

Fury had earlier agreed to fight former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou when he was already set to fight Usyk. This fight illuminates why it is hard to evaluate Fury. Ngannou had never boxed professionally.

In Ngannou’s first fight following the split-decision loss to Fury, he was folded within two rounds by Joshua. But Fury didn’t put Ngannou away or knock him down. Instead, Ngannou spent Fury sprawling to the canvas with a knockout that no one saw coming.

While Fury ultimately rallied to win a somewhat controversial split decision, it called into question how seriously Fury took Ngannou. Fury is a showman at heart, and he may have taken Ngannou lightly. But in the lead-up to the Usyk fight, Fury is saying all the right things.

How to Bet the Main Event

Fury and Usyk are a rarity in championship boxing. This fight is a true coin flip. While there will be minor differences depending on which sportsbook you prefer, everyone seems to agree this fight will be close. Fury is -112 on the three-way moneyline, while Usyk is -105. The fight is +1400 to end in a draw.

Most sportsbooks are lining this fight to go the distance. The fight to make the scorecards is -215, while no is +160. Fury showed during his trilogy of fights against Wilder that he knows how to finish fights.

With what’s at stake here, this is one of the most important heavyweight fights in decades. It is close to call. The edge should go to Fury and his size advantage, however, this is a fight where Usyk could use his agility to score a win. Be prepared to sweat out the scorecards in what should be a close fight.

Bets to consider: Fury by decision +200, Fury -112

Cruiserweight Title Fight Set for Co-Main Event

The politics of boxing robbed Jai Opetaia of his IBF cruiserweight championship. The IBF wanted Opetaia to fight Mairis Briedis, but Briedis was recovering from an injury. Instead, Opetaia opened to fight Elli Zorro last December in Saudi Arabia.

But the IBF wouldn’t sanction the bout, and Opetaia vacated his title. Opetaia will get a chance to regain his title this weekend against Briedis. Briedis is 20-2 in his career and lost the championship to Opetaia back in 2022 via unanimous decision.

Opetaia is undefeated and is a more gifted power puncher than Briedis. He will regain his belt with a decision victory. Briedis has never been knocked out in his career. Opetaia is 24-0 with 19 KOs on his record according to the latest boxing news online.

Bets to consider: Opetaia by decision (+225)

Cordina Seeks to Add Another Belt

Welsh boxer Joe Cordina is looking to add another organization’s super featherweight title belt to his collection. Cordina had previously won the IBF title but is hoping to take the IBO championship away from Anthony Cacace.

Cacace is 21-1 in his career and has won six straight fights. He has never been knocked out in his career. Cordina is coming off a narrow defense of his IBF title. He won by majority decision against Edward Vazquez last November. This fight could be closer than the line suggests.

Cordina is a -450 favorite, Cacace is +350. 

Bets to consider: Cordina by decision (-120)

Here are some quick picks on the rest of the fights that aren’t mentioned above:

  • Heavyweight, Agit Kabayel (+180) vs. Frank Sanchez (-230)
  • Cruiserweight, Sergey Kovalev (+125)  vs. Robin Sirwan Safar (-150)
  • Lightweight, Mark Chamberlain (-1000) vs. Joshua Oluwaseun Wahab (+650)
  • Heavyweight, Moses Itauma (-5000) vs. Ilija Mezencev (+1200)
  • Cruiserweight, David Nyika (-1200) vs. Michael Seitz (+700)
  • Light heavyweight, Daniel Lapin (-2500) vs. Octavio Pudivitr (+1150)
  • Featherweight, Isaac Lowe (-300) vs. Hasibullah Ahmadi (+240)

Find all the latest boxing news and MMA breaking updates on boxingnews.com.

By Dean McHugh.