Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk is on, but not till next year. They were supposed to battle in December, but that was before Tyson Fury met a stubborn and talented MMAer whose skills presented a heavy challenge for the so-called “Gypsy King,” who nearly fumbled his bag. Fury dodged a hubris bullet versus Francis Ngannou, and it could spell bad news for Ukrainian technical wiz Oleksandr Usyk.
Fury stank the joint out in Riyadh, with some watchers thinking that the Cameroonian deserved the decision for the mega scrap which kicked off the Saudi backers' holiday season in surprisingly fine form.
That one wasn't the runaway chase grab many had assumed it would be, Fury noted that when he got dropped on his are by the Mike Tyson trained ex UFC talent. (Only Tommy Hyde publicly predicted that Francis would do what he did, pretty much.)
Fury's ego got stung, but his bank account didn't.
He knew, I think, that fighting Usyk on Dec. 23 as scheduled would be too heavy a mental (and physical?) lift for a 35 year old man who has out his body through plenty of hard living along the way. So, he on fight night announced subtly that he'd prefer to have a fun holidays and meet Usyk in 2024.
Dan Rafael Goes Hard At Mike Coppinger Re Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk Report
ESPN's Mike Coppinger put out the February date on Tuesday afternoon. And by the way, as a side note, look at the grenade Dan Rafael throws at Copp, who took his seat at ESPN.
And came back with this…
Wow, hard words from Rafael, who now does his thing mostly for a Substack audience.
Expect A Better Tyson Fury Than The Ngannou One
Back to the bigger bout–Fury, I'm guessing, will feel that ego sting and after the holidays, I'd expect him to have a proper training camp, so he's sharp for Usyk.
It's interesting, this Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk fight is more intriguing now, after Fury did his near fumble, than prior.
I would have guessed that the size and movement and ring generalship would lead Fury to a conclusive points win over Usyk. But now? Maybe Fury is an “old” 35, maybe he can't just snap the fingers and re-summon his best-self skills.
Year In Boxing 2024 Promises To Be Interesting
It's good news, I think, if we look at the year to come. This year has turned strange in the second half, what with the news that Showtime is exiting the space, and platform homes are being found for Al Haymon's athletes.
Once again, yes, boxing is in a transition stage. That is a deliberate reminder–these dates have come and gone a few times, and so a fan must be ready to change plans on the fly.
As of know, Copp says it, and I'm taking it to be truth. But the truth isn't immutable–what was true yesterday can be wholly different tomorrow. Regarding Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk–Fury has crazy leverage, and to a degree can do what he wants. But the new leaders in huge event boxing presentations, the Saudis, seem to have a flair for juggling the freelance movements of this strange and beautiful sport.
So, let me end with this prediction: Fury and Usyk and the Saudis and the Haymon squad platform shuffle and all of it, it will be interesting. Boxing does usually manage that.