• Monday, June 17, 2024

BOXING

Fury vs Usyk: Unbeaten champions clash in historic heavyweight bout

Fury reacts alongside Usyk ahead of the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO Undisputed World Heavyweight Title fight. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

In a historic showdown labelled the fight of a generation, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are set to collide on Saturday, marking the first undisputed heavyweight bout in 25 years.

Both undefeated, the British and Ukrainian fighters have landed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the momentous event, aiming to claim boxing’s first four-belt championship title.

The matchup has drawn comparisons to legends like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, with the potential for one fighter to emulate the feat of Lennox Lewis in 1999.

Amid escalating anticipation, some anticipate a cautious bout with Fury assumed to take a defensive stance, given his recent struggles against Francis Ngannou. However, the towering Mancunian has visibly trimmed down, showing agility and nimbleness.

Standing six inches shorter, southpaw Usyk, a former cruiserweight, has overcome towering opponents like Anthony Joshua, securing victories in their encounters.

Described by promoter Frank Warren as the “most important fight of the 21st century,” opinions vary on the likely outcome, with former champions offering contrasting predictions.

While some favour Fury’s size and movement, others praise Usyk’s pure boxing prowess, labeling him the toughest opponent Fury has faced.

Despite a brief altercation involving Fury’s father, the final lead-up to the fight has been marked by mutual respect between the boxers.

Echoes of criticism regarding Saudi Arabia’s human rights record have been largely absent, as attention remains focused on the sporting spectacle.

Both fighters stand to gain substantially from the bout, with Fury rumored to earn at least £100 million ($127 million).

Backed by enthusiastic British and Ukrainian fans, the clash promises to be a riveting encounter between two unbeaten champions with remarkable life stories.

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