The heavyweight fight of a generation still has mountains to climb and deserts to cross.
The undisputed clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk had tentatively been agreed to go ahead on December 23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Boxing’s most sought after contest was to follow on from a crossover bout between Fury and MMA star and former UFC world champion Francis Ngannou this past weekend in the Middle East. The 10 round non-title fight saw Fury put in a poor performance, being dropped in the third round to ultimately sneak through with a split decision win.
The fight between WBC champion Fury and IBF, WBA and WBO belt holder Usyk has been signed but a date is far from concrete for the two heavyweight champions to collide. With Fury’s less than convincing performance over a boxing debutant, many opinions have swayed significantly on who takes all the belts if the two make it to the ring.
“My mind has not changed, I knew it was going to be a very difficult fight.” Former four-weight world champion Roy Jones Jr said in an exclusive interview for ProBox TV. “What has happened is, Usyk has had another burst of confidence now. Fury looked very hard to deal with from the onset, but with that fight last night it makes it look like Fury is maybe not as hard to deal with as we think he is, you understand me? Uysk now knows that he takes that weight.
“The odds are going to change, a lot of bookmakers are going to make Usyk the favourite now. Some are going to make it very close, much closer than they thought it was going to be. A lot of people think a lot is going to change. However, to Tyson Fury’s credit, he knew he was not fighting Oleksandr Usyk. So he probably wasn’t on Oleksandr Usyk training mentality. On the mental level you need to be as a trainee, he wasn’t training or fighting with Usyk in mind. He was training with Ngannou in mind, who he thought he was going to beat easily. You feel me? When he goes and trains with Usyk in mind, he is going to be a different fighter at the end of the day. We got to know that too.”