Focused Fury Could Be A Different Proposition For Usyk

Heavyweight great Lennox Lewis has warned unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) to expect the best version of Tyson Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) when the pair meet at long-last in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

May 18 will see the long-awaited undisputed heavyweight title encounter finally take place after several delays. 

Usyk and his promoter, Alexander Krassyuk, have been critical of Fury for the delays in the anticipated fight between Fury and Usyk. Krassyuk has been a vocal figure in the media, warning Fury against further delays and calling for the WBC titleholder to be relieved of his world title if Fury withdrew from proceedings again. 

Fury vs Usyk will see the undisputed title being contested for the first time since Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in November 1999.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Lewis said: “Tyson Fury’s not an easy fight for anybody. He’s elusive, moves well, and boxes from both sides. For any boxer, it’s going to take a while to figure out.

“Also, the height difference is a problem. At 6ft 9ins, it’s not an easy fight for anybody. He [Usyk] is not going to get the fat Tyson Fury; he’s going to get the focused guy.” 

Lewis said it is the biggest fight of both of their careers.

“The guy [Fury] who doesn’t have a belly, who doesn’t have love handles, is ready, focused, and willing.”

Lewis believes Fury’s sub-par night against Ngannou last October was a bad night at the office for Fury, which served as a wake-up call for the WBC titleholder after being dropped heavily in the third round by the boxing debutant Ngannou. 

“That was just basically a wake-up call for him [Fury],” Lewis said. “It was a wake-up call to say, ‘Hey, get in shape. This guy hasn’t had any fights, and you let him real close to you.’

“So I think mentally that bothered him for a bit, because if you look at him now, he’s in great shape.

“Weeks before the fight, he’s in great shape.

“I gave him heck, a lot of people gave him heck, and now he’s focused.”