Tyson Fury expected to come in at lowest weight in nine years after Oleksandr Usyk ‘skinny’ jibe

Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury's true condition will be revealed at Friday's weigh-in

Tyson Fury is expected to come in at his lowest weight in nine years after espousing lean muscle mass in his undisputed heavyweight title fight with Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night.

Telegraph Sport understands Fury, 35, will weigh between “18-19 stone” for his undisputed heavyweight clash in Riyadh against Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night. It will be the lowest since he weighed-in at 247lbs (17.6st) when he first became a heavyweight champion after defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

The Gypsy King was called ‘skinny’ by his rival Oleksandr Usyk this week after arriving in Saudi Arabia with a slimmed down physique which has impressed the last undisputed king Lennox Lewis.

“You can see that Fury has taken this and Usyk seriously; that he is up for this. The shape he is in makes me think he will be fast and have mobility. I like the look of him,” said Lewis speaking yesterday to Telegraph Sport.

“It’s about speed,” added promoter Frank Warren, over a lunch in downtown Riyadh. George Warren, his son, and instrumental behind the scenes with the Saudi Arabians, added: “Tyson has a game plan. He looks well. He’s living clean and obviously training hard. He looks as well as when he fought in the [Deontay] Wilder 2 fight. It all points to him being switched on. He’s a man on a mission.”

A slimmer Tyson Fury gives an interview
Fury's slimmed-down physique has raised eyebrows - PA/Nick Potts

Behind the scenes, deep work has been done, revealed Kristian Blacklock, Fury’s strength and conditioning coach for the last eight years.

“Tyson is fuller in muscle than the original February date, we’ve had a long period to work closely with him, and physically it has shown,” Blacklock explained.

“He has eaten on a strict regime under his nutritionist Greg Marriot since November last year, and his shape is also because of that. Physically, in his strength work, he has been setting new marks in this camp. He will be somewhere around 18 to 19 stone depending on his hydration on the day.

“This will be the fittest Tyson Fury we have had, comparative to Klitschko [De 2015] and Wilder 2 [Feb 2020]…a happy, healthy, dangerous fighter.”

At the Grand Arrivals, on Tuesday, Fury had been labelled “nervous” and “skinny” by Usyk and his team as the intrigue around the Gypsy King’s slimmed-down physique increased before their bout for the greatest prize in the sport.

Fury certainly looks long and lean with a sharp jawline and if coming in at a lighter weight than in previous fights, the Briton is still likely to be about two stone (30lbs) heavier than his rival. Fury’s conditioning raises questions about his game plan, with a long battle most likely. “Skinny?” responded Fury to Usyk’s jibe when asked in an interview. “I’m 19-odd stone.”

Tyson Fury – Tyson Fury expected to come in at lowest weight in nine years after Oleksandr Usyk 'skinny' jibe
Fury has slimmed down after an intense training camp - PA/Nick Potts

Fury’s shape may hint at a strategy of out-boxing Usyk, and looking for a long fight, but members of the Fury camp have told Telegraph Sport that they believe the 35-year-old will stop Usyk.

It is all part of fight week build-up, with debate and discussion growing around the two unbeaten fighters. Fury’s father and coach, John Fury, may have let the game plan slip by revealing the numbers his son will weigh in at. In an interview with IFL TV, Fury Snr said that Tyson is at a “career lightest, he is looking well and mean, you will see on Saturday night. The Gypsy King will remain supreme and as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”

Fury Snr added: “You can see that Tyson is in fabulous shape. We have not left a stone unturned, he has grinded and he has worked his a--- off. I just think to myself, that Usyk has got to bring something that we haven’t seen before – I’ve watched him do AJ [Antony Joshua] twice, I have watched every heavyweight fight that he has had – that cannot beat The Gypsy King. Not on this form, not on this mindset.”

The lowest that Fury has weighed for a fight was 245.5lbs (17.5st) against Vinny Maddalone in July 2012, but it is unlikely that Fury will actually be that low come Friday’s weigh in, or on the night, having been 273lbs (19.5st) and 277lbs (19.7st) for his second and third fights with Wilder.

Alex Krassyuk, Usyk’s promoter, claimed that Fury’s weight loss is a result of “nerves”. “When a man gets nervous, they lose weight. It’s mental disorder because you don’t sleep well, you don’t eat well and you don’t rest well. That’s why you’re losing weight.”

With Usyk, 37, weighing in at 220.9lbs (100kg) for his last fight, against Daniel Dubois last August, Fury will weigh in the much heavier of the two protagonists, but tomorrow’s [Friday] moment on the scales will be fascinating.