This week’s panellists were asked to pick a winner in a potential heavyweight blockbuster between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury
Paul Butler (WBO bantamweight belt-holder)
Wow, that’s a great fight. Maybe it wouldn’t have been two or three years ago but since Fury has joined up with Sugar Hill his style has changed: he goes for the KO, he presses fights, he looks for the big shots, and he hits the body well. If there is one man who can counteract that, it’s Usyk. Size may play a part in that one. Fury uses his size a lot better than AJ. He holds and leans on opponents as we saw with Deontay Wilder. If I was forced to bet on it, I’d go Fury close on points.
Wayne Alexander (Former European super-welterweight champion)
A fight between Usyk and Fury could turn out to be a bit of a chess match, with Usyk trying to counter Fury when he makes mistakes. I believe Tyson is just too big, tall, strong and rangy, though, and would beat Usyk on points with his long straight shots.
Michael Conlan (Featherweight contender)
I’m a huge Usyk fan and have been since the amateurs. I called the AJ result while he was still a cruiserweight, but Tyson Fury is a whole different situation. He is a 6’9 monster, a great mover and can whack. I’d find it hard picking anyone over Fury, but Usyk would make it very interesting given the problems Fury has had with smaller men in the past (Steve Cunningham). Right now, I’d pick Fury.
Eric Donovan (Featherweight contender)
The size of Fury and his awkward, elusive style is a problem for any man. He has great defensive skills, good stamina, and a great heart. Usyk, however, is a purist, too. He’s technically gifted and does not sit in the pocket to allow these bigger heavyweights to lean on him or wear him down. He can box and move for 12 rounds and his engine has been tested and proven. I wonder how Fury would cope if he fell a couple rounds behind.