Tyson Fury Warns Oleksandr Usyk ‘Size Matters’ Ahead of Undisputed Heavyweight Bout

April 10, 2024
2 months
Tyson Fury at a press conference for his fight with Oleksandr Usyk

WBC and lineal world champion Tyson Fury has warned rival Oleksandr Usyk that “size really matters” at the elite level of heavyweight boxing ahead of their historic bout next month.

On May 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Fury and Usyk – holder of the IBF, WBA, and WBO titles – will contest the first undisputed heavyweight bout of the four-belt era.

Both fighters will enter the ring with unbeaten records – Fury has won 33 of his 34 professional fights with one draw, while Usyk is victorious in all his 21 bouts and was previously the undisputed cruiserweight world champion.

With 40 days until the ‘Ring of Fire’ event, the odds can’t separate Fury and Usyk, believing the fight to be too close to call. Fury, however, believes he has one literal massive advantage; the British fighter is 15 centimeters taller than his opponent.

Usyk ‘Going To Be Found Wanting’

“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,” Fury said at a press conference in his hometown of Morecambe on Wednesday.

“We have weight divisions for a reason and he’s going to be found wanting when he fights me on May 18.”

This bout has been twice delayed; it was first scheduled for December 23, only for it to be postponed after Fury’s tougher-than-expected clash with MMA star Francis Ngannou, who floored the champion in the third round and pushed him to a split decision.

Rearranged for February 17, Fury then suffered a freak cut in sparring weeks before the bout, forcing the postponement until May 18. In the aftermath of the most recent delay, a member of Usyk’s team doubted the legitimacy of the cut and urged Fury to retire, prompting Fury to lash out on social media.

However, Fury insisted that he holds no animosity towards Usyk or his team.

‘This Is Strictly Business’

“I’ve seen some stuff in the media that this is really personal between me and Oleksandr Usyk,” Fury said. “This is not personal, it’s strictly business for both fighters.

“There’s a lot of stuff on the line but I don’t hate him and he doesn’t hate me. He’s a good husband, good God-fearing man, so I respect him.”

Fury will hope for a much-improved performance compared to his last outing against Ngannou last October. Usyk will provide a much sterner test and Fury is determined to prove that he is still the king of the heavyweight division.

“If Tyson Fury can’t beat Usyk, Tyson’s no good, end of,” Fury said. “I’m not going to pull any punches, it is what it is. This is my time, my destiny, my era and my generation. Fact.”

Fury To ‘Exploit Usyk’s Weakness’

Usyk has proved too strong for all of his past opponents, including Anthony Joshua, whom the Ukrainian defeated in successive fights in 2021 and 2022.

His most recent bout was a ninth-round stoppage of Daniel Dubois in August last year, but not before Usyk was floored from a heavy body shot by the Briton. That shot was deemed to be a low blow, giving Usyk sufficient time to recover before ultimately claiming the knockout victory.

Fury’s promoter Frank Warren, who also represents Dubois, believes that night in Poland showed a chink in the Ukrainian’s armor and he expects Fury to exploit it next month.

“He doesn’t like it to the body, that’s for sure, and for me the biggest exponent of exploiting a boxer’s weakness is the professor here (Fury) and that’s what he does,” Warren said.

“If anybody’s going to exploit it, it’s going to be Tyson. He’s got the mental capacity to do that and keep doing what he has to do. I genuinely believe that Tyson will win this fight in explosive style.”