By Steve Kim Updated on May 16, 2024

Some Thoughts on Fury-Usyk

Picture for Some Thoughts on Fury-Usyk

This Saturday from the long-awaited showdown for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world will take place in Saudi Arabia. Tyson Fury, who holds the WBC belt, will face Oleksandr Usyk (the owner of the WBA, WBO and IBF straps) from the Kingdom Arena.

There was some doubt we would ever get to this point, as negotiations for the past couple of years were rather contentious. After the bout was finally scheduled, it's been delayed more than once. 

But here we are for Fury-Usyk fight week in the latest chapter of 'Riyadh Season'. Some thoughts on this match-up and card.

Picture for Some Thoughts on Fury-Usyk

- There is a lot of focus on the size differential between the two combatants. Fury, by any standard is a huge heavyweight. He is 6'9, and in his last outing came in at 272 pounds. While Usyk, who started out his career as a cruiserweight, is 6'3. He will most likely be a good 20-25 pounds lighter than the 'Gypsy King'.

So if size truly does matter, this favors Fury. At least that's the conventional wisdom. But keep this in mind, Fury has had problems with smaller, more agile boxers. The likes of Steve Cunningham and Otto Wallin come to mind. When he faces bigger, modern day heavyweights, Fury has an advantage in athleticism. However, this can be mitigated when his opponents are not nearly as tall or move slower. 

Usyk has had a chance to grow into a heavyweight, and has for the most part largely kept his agility and boxing acumen.

- Are we prisoners of the moment? I know many pundits and observers are picking Usyk to win this bout. Now, certainly that's not an outlandish prediction given that the odds are basically pick'em. Much of that has to do with how putrid Fury looked versus boxing novice, Francis Ngannou back in the fall. 

Picture for Some Thoughts on Fury-Usyk

Admittedly, he looked awful, and was fortunate to walk away with the victory. But you could surmise that the often flighty Fury overlooked Ngannou, and really didn't take this all that seriously. It will be interesting to see what version of Fury shows up this weekend. The assumption is that he was much  more focused for this assignment. 

Or....maybe he's just gone backwards physically at age 35 after years of having a less-than-Spartan year round lifestyle.

But on the flip side, maybe too many overlooked Usyk's last effort. Yes, he ended up stopping the raw-boned Daniel Dubois in nine rounds, but it could be argued that he was stopped earlier due to a borderline body shot that was ruled a low-blow.

Low Blow or Knockdown? The Punch That Changed Usyk vs Dubois | HIGHLIGHTS


- Alright, so with this show taking place in Saudi Arabia, it means afternoon/early evening boxing for those of us in the States. I've tried to get an answer on just when Fury-Usyk will touch'em up. I'm being told that the approximate time will be around 6 pm, EST/3 pm, PST 

Whether this will happen is another question. Please don't kill the messenger.

Picture for Some Thoughts on Fury-Usyk

Boxing has a way of making shows needlessly drawn out and long. The last card in Saudi Arabia (that featured Ngannou getting knocked out by Anthony Joshua) was longer than some Jerry Lewis Telethon's. 

- OK, time for brass tax, who do I like in this contest? Well, I've gone on the record on several platforms by tabbing Usyk. His style and stature have given Fury fits in the past. I also have some suspicions that Fury's sleeker physique may leave him a bit hollow. 

I foresee Usyk using his footwork, and angles to attack Fury from the mid-range. There will be some rough moments for him, but Usyk is a fighter with great character, who has overcome adversity in the past.   It will be interesting to see how Fury deals with a boxer who is a superior athlete to him. Yes, size matters, but so does skill and ring IQ. 

Usyk by decision is my official prediction.



The day-night doubleheader for boxing continues on Saturday night from San Diego. Top Rank has a card that will be televised on ESPN from the Pechanga Arena. The main event has Emanuel Navarrete facing Denys Berinchyk for the vacant WBO lightweight belt....Also on that broadcast is welterweight contender, Giovanni Santillan....Word is that card is doing very well at the box-office...Speaking of which, the show in Philly featuring Jaron 'Boots' Ennis is off to a strong start in terms of ticket sales....Jai Opetaia faces Mairis Briedis in a rematch for his IBF cruiserweight title on the Fury-Usyk undercard. Also Joe Cordina defends his IBF 130-pound belt against Anthony Cacace... I can be reached at


About Author
Some Thoughts on Fury-Usyk
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.