The boxing world covets the real king

Fury calls for a giant duel
The boxing world covets the real king

By Martin Armbruster

Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko shared the world heavyweight titles for years. Because the brothers have never fought each other, the boxing world has been waiting for an undisputed king for over two decades. This should change in the spring.

Not much stuck since Tyson Fury’s last fight. Except maybe Derek Chisora’s Brain and Bones. The world heavyweight champion had beaten him at will for ten rounds on the third night of December the previous year in London – a dismantling with no sporting value. But that no longer interested anyone a few minutes after the announcement of the “Tko” verdict.

“Where is Usyk, where is the rabbit?” ‘Gypsy King’ Fury barked through the wintry London air to the cheers of his 60,000 boxing subjects at Tottenham Stadium. And Oleksandr Usyk, who came specifically for the show, was quick to ask. The Ukrainian stepped into the ring for a first stardown with Fury. Calmly, he looked at the 2.06-meter giant and briefly showed his dental gap as Fury screamed insult after insult in his face. Even Fury’s compatriot Joe Joyce, who stepped in totally inappropriately when he looked me in the eyes of the heavyweight champions, didn’t shake Usyk’s composure. Surrounded by two screaming Englishmen, the guest first took a phone call, took a selfie with Fury and disappeared again. The message, however, was clear: the big chunk can come because of me.

He’s ready to fight Tyson Fury for the heavyweight crown: Oleksandr Usyk.

(Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire/dpa)

So that’s what Tyson Fury’s latest appearance stands for: the opener for one of the biggest fights in recent boxing history. Because that the duel between the undefeated world champions Fury (record: 33 wins, 1 draw) and Usyk (20 wins) will soon also manifest itself between the ropes of the ring, there is indeed no longer any doubt. “The fight is coming – one hundred percent,” says boxing expert Bernd Bönte in an interview with RTL / ntv. The fight for the undisputed world heavyweight championship is far too tempting for everyone involved, after all the titles of all the world renowned boxing associations are on the line. Fury holds the WBC belt, Usyk holds the WBA titles , WBO and IBF. For the first time since 1999, since the great Lennox Lewis, a boxer could piece together the broken crown and sit on his head (still a WBA, WBC and IBF trident in Lewis’s day).

“Extremely prestigious investment for the Saudis”

“We know it (the Usyks team, ed.) sent a draft contract, that’s the status,” British Fury promoter Frank Warren told talkSPORT radio station over the weekend. Time was running out, final details needed to be clarified quickly to that the fight can take place in March as planned. . March 4 generally applies as a desired date for both sides. The only thing that remains open is when and where it will all take place. Bönte expects a cash show in the Middle East, probably Saudi Arabia, where Usyk beat Anthony Joshua a second time last summer.” In view of such a global mega-event, the supposed sums of $100 million plus x hosting costs are peanuts for the Saudis. Everyone in sport will be watching, so it’s an extremely prestigious investment for the Saudis,” the Klitschko brothers’ longtime manager said. Should Saudi Arabia lose interest in the boxing showdown, the United Arab Emirates would be the first to ask Abu Dhabi. , waving dollar bills.

Warren does not hide the fact that the fight will take place “where most of the money comes from”. And there is indeed a lot to be said for Saudi Arabia. The Royal Family had already secured the right to host the fight between England superstars Fury and Joshua in 2021 with a $150million club. Only an arbitral tribunal in the United States, which condemned Fury to a third duel with his rival Deontay Wilder, thwarted the plan.

“I know a lot of people complain about it. I also say it should be at Wembley,” admitted Warren, referring to the controversial venue (keyword: sportswashing) of the heavyweight ceremony. However, the septuagenarian recalled that Fury against Usyk would not be the first boxing world championship on totalitarian ground. “Muhammad Ali and George Foreman fought in Zaire, then there was the thrilla in Manila (Ali vs. Joe Frazier III in the Philippines 1975, ed.). They went where the most money was and both will too.” There’s always money to be made for Fury and Usyk. finds in the venue as an event fee, pay-per-view is likely “Revenue and ticket sales let the cash register ring. The bottom line is that the boxers could collect around $100 million. Sporting fame for being the king of kings in boxing – or ‘God’s big toe’, as American writer Norman Mailer called the heavyweight – once named world champion.

A boxing treat

From a purely boxing point of view, the (spring) fight of the year is a treat: On the one hand, Fury, 34 years old, 2.06 meters tall, a man of many styles, who won in power since working with Coach Sugar. Steward of the Hill. On the other side is Usyk, 35, who is 16 centimeters shorter, a noble and self-reliant technician with brilliant footwork, left-handed, still feeling fit for 20 laps.


For Tyson Fury, the king of boxing question has long since been answered.

(Photo: imago images/MB Media Solutions)

Bernd Bönte sees Fury, who ended Wladimir Klitschko’s reign in 2015, as the favourite. “Old boxing wisdom says the good big boxer beats the good little boxer,” says the fistfight connoisseur. Bönte commented on the victory of Lennox Lewis (1.96 meters) over Evander Holyfield (1.88 meters) in the last “Undisputed” showdown in Las Vegas in 1999 live in the ring. An empirical proof of the big-small thesis. But: “Usyk has always found solutions against all opponents so far. Against Fury, he should always get into the fast-legged man from a distance, make combinations and come out immediately. Stick and move, as the Americans say . Exciting to see if he pulls it off.”

If Usyk cracks the Fury Code as well, he would place a monument far beyond Ukraine. He would be the first boxer since the legendary Holyfield to win every world title, first in cruiser and then heavyweight. Fury, on the other hand, would cement his status as the best heavyweight of his generation with a victory.

In addition to the fight for number one, another big thing could blossom in the boxing world in 2023. Deontay Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel and Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn have unanimously announced that they would re-establish a hot wire across the Atlantic. Joshua vs. Wilder – the Anglo-American clash of strongest punchers has often been negotiated, the explosive duel should have taken place years ago. Due to the knockout power and marketability of former World Champions, this would likely take on similar dimensions to Fury vs. Usyk.

Hearn is working on a spectacular three-fight plan

Hearn recently aired a three-fight plan for his protege at DAZN to ‘rebuild’ ‘AJ’. In the spring, Joshua is expected to make his comeback first against a “Top 15” man, then in the summer his former English rival Dillian Whyte, and finally Wilder in the fall. He also thinks the UK blockbuster between Fury and Joshua, which broke in late 2022, will happen at some point, Hearn says. But Joshua needs to get back on track after his bankruptcies against Usyk.

And Deontay Wilder? The “Bronze Bomber” is back in business after his lightning knockout against Robert Helenius last October. The World Association WBC has ordered a World Championship elimination between Wilder and Joshua conquering Andy Ruiz. A fight between the former American champions – a blockbuster at least in the USA. If Wilder wins, he would be entitled to a fourth date with Fury in addition to the sportingly and financially lucrative option of Joshua. He has already expressed his interest. Lots of future music. First, there is a king to be crowned. Could be the start of a spectacular year in heavyweight boxing.

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