Usyk’s Former Coach Says Fury’s Mind Games Won’t Work

January 31, 2024
3 months
Usyk's Former Coach Says Fury's Mind Games Won't Work

James Ali Bashir, who happens to be Oleksandr Usyk’s former coach, has told Tyson Fury that he won’t be able to win the battle of mind games with the Ukrainian.

The duo face off for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship on February 17, 2024, for the right to become the best heavyweight of this era. Both fighters are undefeated, knowing that a loss will prove costly. Fury and Usyk are known for having excellent boxing IQ and the ability to get into their opponent’s head.

Fury, in particular, utilized this well, most famously against Wladimir Klitschko when he recalled their sauna story. Although that may be the case, Usyk is equally known for being mentally strong. He demonstrated this when he faced Tony Bellew in defending his cruiserweight titles. He stopped Bellew after the Brit claimed he had no one-punch knockout. Now Bashir has warned Fury that his mind games won’t work on Usyk.

Usyk's Former Coach Says Fury's Mind Games Won't Work
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Bashir On Fury

“He (Usyk) is going to be out there to win that fight because he knows what undisputed means. He knows what that means and so does Tyson Fury, that’s why I say it’s a tough fight. This is more of a mental fight than it is a physical fight.

“I don’t think he can tamper with Oleksandr Usyk’s mind. If anything, Oleksandr Usyk will tamper with Fury’s mind. I think that Oleksandr Usyk is a master of the mind games. [And] I think that he is in this fight all the way. I just want to get me a bag of popcorn and sit down, I wanna watch this,” Bashir said 

Nevertheless, it all comes down to who is the better man on the night. Both fighters enter the bout not in the best form. Fury overcame Francis Ngannou in a split-decision win, with many feeling that he had lost the fight. Ngannou dropped the WBC Heavyweight Champion and lasted the distance in a fight where Fury looked far from the man who had stopped Deontay Wilder twice.

Bashir On Usyk

The same can be said for Usyk in his last fight against Daniel Dubois. Despite stopping the Brit, he was almost knocked out. Dubois dropped Usyk in the fifth round with a body shot. But the referee declared it a low blow, giving Usyk over three minutes to recover. The Ukrainian got up and stopped the Brit in the ninth round, as the rest was history. Both fighters have something to prove, but Bashir backed Usyk to come out on top.

“He (Usyk) has a very good opportunity. But the Tyson Fury that we saw in the (Francis) Ngannou fight will be a far cry from the one that we will see in the Oleksandr Usyk fight. Because Tyson Fury will be totally prepared to be a big guy, 6’9 and 280 or 290lbs, whatever he is going to come in at. He is a good boxer, he is agile, he is slick, he is confident and he knows what he is doing out there. I think that this is going to be a tough fight for both guys, but I think that Oleksandr Usyk has a good, good chance to edge Tyson Fury in this fight,” Bashir added 

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