Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk predictions: What boxing experts are saying about the fight

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk face off in Saudi Arabia
Fury and Usyk have similar, crafty styles - Getty Images/Justin Setterfield

Tyson Fury can become the undisputed world heavyweight champion on Saturday night when he fights Oleksandr Usyk in a much-anticipated unification fight.

Heavyweight boxing has not had an undisputed heavyweight champion since 1999, and victory for Fury would cement his status as the best of his generation. Speaking in an exclusive interview with Telegraph Sport, Fury said he is not thinking about legacy and his only priority is “getting paid”.

Usyk promises to be stiff opposition however, having retained his IBF, WBA and WBO titles when he stopped Daniel Dubois in the ninth round of his previous fight.

Fury is looking to bounce back from his last bout, when he was knocked down by former UFC champion Francis Ngannou before winning on a split decision.

This what the great and the good of the boxing world are predicting.

‘Usyk’s too smart’

George Groves, former middleweight world champion
“Usyk is far too smart to fall into that trap of having the bigger guy lay on him and use his size against him. He cuts out at amazing angles, he can himself into angles where he can touch you three, four, five times before he gets that power shot in. He’s done it time and time again, since he has moved up to heavyweight he hasn’t put a foot wrong. He’ll be the favourite I think.”

‘Imagine if Usyk was the same size as Fury’

Tony Bellew, former cruiserweight world champion
“Usyk is going to win and I think the fight is going to be a really high-quality chess match. If Usyk was the same size as Tyson Fury, he wouldn’t lose a round, never mind a fight. The reason that we write him off so much is because he’s so much smaller and because he’s a former cruiserweight king. That’s why this fight is so compelling.”

‘Going on what I know – Usyk’

Anthony Joshua, former heavyweight world champion
“Usyk does everything brilliantly. I’ve never fought Tyson Fury, so I can’t judge how he will perform. So going on what I know – Usyk.”

‘Usyk won’t let Fury lean’

Carl Froch, former super-middleweight world champion
“What’s Usyk now, 37 years old? So he’s slowing down but he’s got the ability to have a couple of close rounds, not lose the round, and say ‘right I struggled there’. He goes back to his corner and then just lays it on. He gets behind more feints, more footwork, more aggression with the body language, he doesn’t even have to throw a punch. He won’t allow Fury to just lean on him and outweight him.”

‘No-one has been able to beat up Usyk’

David Haye, former two-weight world champion
“Very technical fight. Both are very smart, both can adapt. I like the look of Fury. I like his attitude coming into this. I like Fury’s resistance and think he can take risks early, but I just have a feeling that the judges will be split in a very close fight. No one has been able to beat up Usyk the master boxer.”

‘Fury is in better shape than I expected’

Malik Scott, Deontay Wilder’s trainer
“In terms of winner, I would go with Usyk but at the same time, Fury is big and knows how to use his size. Fury is in better shape than I thought he would be. He’s not slow, he has good punching power and a good boxing mind. It’s a good fight on paper. But we’ll see what happens.”

‘Fury is tough to beat’

Conor McGregor, former UFC champion
“Usyk is a crafty, crafty boxer. If anyone can do it, maybe Usyk can do it, [But] Tyson is also a crafty boxer, plus he has the size. Tyson is a tough man to beat, in the boxing arena.”‘Fury can force his size’

Lennox Lewis, last unified heavyweight world champion
“Intriguing for four rounds, perhaps like physical chess, as they get a good look at each other, but Fury for me is the winner on points. Interesting match-up, both have skills and fighting IQ. Fury wins because he can force his size on Usyk.”

‘Fury is bigger version of Usyk’

Oscar de la Hoya, former three-weight world champion
“The former three-weight world champion sees two very similar fighters: “I think Tyson Fury is the bigger version of Usyk. He has speed, he has power, he’s very versatile. I have to go with Tyson.”

‘We may get a controversial draw’

Gareth A Davies, Telegraph boxing correspondent
“Fury and Usyk are so skilled, they may nullify each other. There is a second fight signed for October/November. It may well start cagily, and if a physical chess match continues, we may get a controversial draw. If pressed for an absolute victor, on what I have seen this week, I would sway to Fury, on points, or even late stoppage.”

‘They will level each other out’

Michael Buffer, ring announcer
“Man – I like both guys so much, I can’t pick a winner. They are both great people and great champions. They will level each other out.”

‘Fury will overpower him’

Mike Tyson, former heavyweight world champion
“Tyson Fury...will overpower Usyk, and Fury will get stronger as the fight goes on. Fury is the No 1 in the division.”

‘Fury on points’

Carl Frampton, former two-weight world champion
“I can just see the bigger man Fury using his size advantage in this fight. You can make a case for Usyk winning technically, but it is Fury on points for me.”

‘Usyk is the more complete fighter’

Evander Holyfield, former undisputed cruiserweight world champion
“Some things Fury doesn’t do so well. Usyk is the faster, more mobile fighter. The more complete fighter. He fights on the inside, and on the outside so well. I see Usyk getting the job done as I see him as the more complete fighter.

‘Fury will walk Usyk down’

Derek Chisora
“Tyson will win this. He will walk Usyk down. Usyk is clever, he is elusive, but Fury will have his number.”

‘Fury will turn up at his best’

Johnny Nelson, former cruiserweight world champion
“As long as the best Tyson Fury turns up, he will defeat Usyk. But if it is the Fury that fought Francis Ngannou in the ring in Riyadh, he will be outboxed and lose to Usyk on points. But by the look of Fury, he will be turning up at his best.”

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