Where’s the buzz for Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk?

It’s a question that fans started to ask themselves as before the epic video trailer released yesterday by Turki Alalshikh, the conversation about the first undisputed heavyweight title fight in 25 years between Tyson Fury & Oleksandr Usyk has been quiet. Why hasn’t this fight been plastered all over and discussed on all mainstream media platforms? Is pressing the panic button on the event’s anticipation too soon?

Tyson Fury goes dark

It’s not out of the norm for the WBC champ Fury, who has been known to “go dark” during training camps for significant fights. He did it during the Deontay Wilder trilogy and now is doing the same for Usyk. It means a little more this time, as he had an embarrassing performance against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in September. The fight saw Fury get knocked down and outworked for ten rounds. Contrary to what Fury said leading up to the fight with Ngannou, he looked like a fighter who didn’t take the challenge seriously and thought he could just wing it. Even though he came out victorious, the approach to the fight blew up in his face, and he was clearly embarrassed as his body language reflected it during the post-fight interview, leading him to cancel the traditional post-fight press conference.

There have been times when Fury would say that he is handing over his social media accounts to someone on his team to post videos and such, but that has not happened at all. Although this potentially signifies how dedicated Fury is to this fight, it makes for a dull build-up for an event that is so significant for not only boxing today but the history of it as well.

Oleksandr Usyk is being Oleksandr Usyk and that’s expected

The unified heavyweight champ Usyk isn’t the most content-heavy fighter, but when he posts something, it can be playful but serious at the same time. He would come up with sound bites like “Greedy belly” or saying, “Hey Tyson, back in ring” while smiling but being serious at a post-fight interview. Usyk performs random things, like when he snuck up behind Bob Arum when Arum was doing an in-ring interview. All of these moments trend on social media all of the time, making his posts highly anticipated. The only thing is that they don’t come often enough, leading to a lag of a build-up for the fight. 

Is it too soon to panic, or will things pick up during fight week?

Boxing has shifted from years past, where events aren’t heavily promoted until fight week, leaving the weeks or months prior with little to no buzz. You would think that it being a huge undisputed heavyweight title fight that ESPN, FOX Sports and other sports platforms would be running debate segments or even having ads on their shows. Is it because the fight is in Saudi Arabia and the time zones are tricky, these things haven’t happened already? Is it the unavailability of the fighters the reason?

We are 16 days away, and although the buzz has been minimal, there is hope that the promotion will pick up starting next week as both camps wind down. The assumption is that it’s too early to panic and that by the time February 17 rolls around, everyone worldwide will be talking about the fight and tuning in. For boxing’s sake, let's certainly hope so.