Lennox Lewis Backs Tyson Fury To Beat Oleksandr Usyk: ‘The Bigger Guy Wins’

May 12, 2024
1 week
Lennox Lewis is backing Tyson Fury to beat Oleksandr Usyk

Lennox Lewis, the last undisputed heavyweight world champion, is backing Tyson Fury to beat Oleksandr Usyk in their winner-takes-all bout in Saudi Arabia next weekend.

WBC and lineal champion Fury (34-0-1) faces IBF, WBA, and WBO title holder Usyk on May 18 in Riyadh in the first undisputed heavyweight title fight of the four-belt era.

Opinion has been split over who will emerge victorious. Many within boxing believe Fury – the bigger, more experienced heavyweight – will prove to be the top man in the top division, yet many others feel that the smaller, quicker, skillful Usyk will get the win.

Lewis, however, is convinced that it will be Fury who will become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

“I believe the bigger guy, the better guy, wins,” Lewis said in an interview with The Guardian. “They both have good skill and Usyk has good movement, with good balance, and puts his punches together well. But he’s going up against a 6ft 9in guy and, for me, Tyson Fury is very elusive even if he is so big. If he makes you miss, he makes you pay.

“It’s an interesting matchup but I always say if two guys have the same technical skill, the bigger fighter wins because he can force his size on the other guy. It’s happened before where the smaller guy won but, in this case, Tyson Fury’s got lots of different weapons in his arsenal.

Lewis ‘Would Put Money On Fury’

“He has shown in the [three] fights with Deontay Wilder he is aggressive and moves forward well. Those fights really showed his skill, his talent, his ring generalship. I would put money on Fury – as long as it is the 100 percent focused Fury.”

Fury had been viewed as the favorite against Usyk before his disastrous last outing against MMA star Francis Ngannou in October. On that night seven months ago, an out-of-shape Fury was sent to the canvas in the third round and held on for a split-decision victory against a fighter making his professional boxing debut.

To make matters worse, Anthony Joshua faced Ngannou in March and dispatched the Cameroonian in a destructive second-round knockout.

Since Fury’s bout with Ngannou, Saturday’s fight is being viewed as 50-50, but Lewis is sure the ‘Gypsy King’ will be in much better condition to face Usyk. He is also convinced that he would have dealt with Ngannou the same way Joshua did.

“If it had been me against Ngannou, I would go in there and show that boxing is way different to UFC,” Lewis said. “Fury should have gone after him and knocked him out. Anthony Joshua did that a few months later.

“But Fury was not at his best. He was way overweight and didn’t take the fight seriously. Joshua showed that boxing is different. He hit Ngannou with a very good right hand and it didn’t look good the way he fell. This is a dangerous sport, where we don’t play.”

Lewis The Last Undisputed Champion

Few people are better placed to offer their opinion and analysis on this fight than Lewis. The Canadian-born British fighter captured all three heavyweight world titles in November 1999 with a unanimous points win over Evander Holyfield.

Lewis was held to a controversial split-decision draw by the American eight months earlier, despite most people agreeing that Lewis had comfortably won the fight – but there was no disputing the winner in the rematch.

Lewis defended the belts three times before a shock loss to Hashim Rahman, whom he knocked out in the rematch to reclaim the titles. Another title defense followed with his eighth-round stoppage of Mike Tyson.

Having fought the best of his era and come out on top, Lewis feels Fury would have provided him a good test – but like every great champion, insists he would win their hypothetical matchup.

“Yes, because of his size,” Lewis said when asked if Fury would have caused him problems. “I’ve been watching him for a long time and he’s a good boxer. He is the one that shadow-boxes the most out of all of them. You can tell.”

However, Lewis added: “Everybody’s got a flaw – you just have to find it. Holyfield was very effective when he boxed me, because he kept me turning. That put me off a couple of times but I found a way.”