Usyk’s Sparring Partner Hasanovic Warns Fury Over The Ukrainian

January 15, 2024
2 months
Usyk's Sparring Partner Hasanovic Warns Fury Over The Ukrainian

Oleksandr Usyk’s current sparring partner, Sanel Hasanovic, has warned Tyson Fury to be wary of the Ukrainian. 

Fury and Usyk will face off on February 17, 2024, for the right to become the world’s undisputed heavyweight champion. Boxing’s last undisputed champion was in 1999 when Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield. One boxer will suffer the first defeat of their career, while the other will go down as the greatest heavyweight of their generation. 

Usyk's Sparring Partner Hasanovic Warns Fury Over The Ukrainian
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Usyk has already become undisputed at cruiserweight, removing the pressure on him to do so again. But if he were to achieve that, he would join Terence Crawford and Naoya Inoue as the two other fighters to have done this in the four-belt era. Fury has yet to become undisputed despite having won every belt that has existed at heavyweight. 

He completed his collection when he beat Deontay Wilder to pick up the WBC belt. It will be the toughest test of both boxers’ careers. Usyk will have to deal with Fury’s size and weight, while the Ukrainian is regarded as being the better technical boxer. Heading into the fight, Usyk has been sparring Hasanovic. The Serbian is 6 foot 8, whose record stands at  7-6-1. Based on what he has seen so far, Hasanovic expects Usyk to come out victorious. 

Hasanovic On Fury-Usyk

“@Usykaa, after some serious sparring, I believe you will emerge victorious in the fight against Tyson Fury. Also, thanks to my team @KUCBoxingPromotion for the support and promotion,” Hasanovic said

At the same time, Fury has brought in Jai Opetaia to mimic Usyk’s style. Opetaia is the former IBF cruiserweight champion after he was stripped for failing to defend against his mandatory, Mairis Briedis, by taking a fight against Ellis Zorro in Saudi Arabia instead. 

He is a tricky southpaw known for his dangerous left hand and excellent footwork. Opetaia has spoken about his admiration for the Ukrainian, indicating his aim is to face him in the future. Based on that, he wants to leave an impression in the Fury training camp, showing the Gypsy King will be ready for a prime Usyk. 

Opetaia On Fury

“I feel like he uses his strengths very well and that’s why he’s heavyweight champion of the world. They’ve reached out [for sparring]. They want me in there for sparring with them for Usyk, which I’m excited to be a part of. I’m excited to mix it up with the big boys and I’m also excited to show them who I am. That’s what I do. I go and I earn respect. And I’m excited for them to leave that camp and be like, ‘F**k, he is good,”  Opetaia said 

Despite having a good training camp, it ultimately comes down to what the fighters deliver on fight night. Sparring stories are often exaggerated or must be taken with a pinch of salt based on the idea that specific drills are being practised. There is no shortage of fighters expressing how well their training camps had gone, only to change the narrative once the fight has concluded, especially if they suffer a loss.  

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