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Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk II (The Rematch): Profile, Stats, Free Bets & Betting Offers

heavyweight boxer cartoon looks like tyson furyBoxing is full of big personalities and love him or loath him Tyson Fury is perhaps the biggest there is in the sport right now.  The former WBC heavyweight world champion went AWOL win 2016 losing his titles following illegal substance misuse allegations.

In January 2018 the Gypsy King announced his comeback and following a breakdown in talks between Anthony Joshua’s camp and Deontay Wilder’s, Tyson Fury stepped up to put his name down to fight for the WBC heavyweight title.

The LA fight on 2nd December 2018 ended in a spectacular, and rare, draw.  Many felt Fury should have won clearly, and would have done on home soil.  He set the record straight in the re-match in February 2020, finally taking the WBC belt by knocking down the previously undefeated Wilder twice before the towel was thrown in the seventh round.

Unfortunately we didn’t get the big AJ fight with Wilder enforcing a re-re-match through the courts.  It was the third fight against Wilder (it was getting a bit like Rocky), but nonetheless it was worthy of a trilogy as the brilliant fight saw both fighters knocked down before Fury took control, eventually knocking Wilder out in the 11th round.

The Gypsy King was keen to fight Usyk for a long awaited unification fight but with AJ refusing to step aside it meant he took on mandatory WBC challenger Dillian Whyte, the first fight in the UK since 2018, and dispatched him fairly easily in the 6th round with a spectacular upper cut.

Fury then said he will retire but frankly few people believed him.  When Fury announced he would fight again most people were not that surprised but they were surprised to see he called out the beltless AJ rather than IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO champion Usyk.  It seemed like Tyson had read the mood of the public and realised the desire for the all British heavyweight matchup that people want to see.

That fight was due to take place in December 2022 but AJ never signed the terms and it fell through yet again.  Instead Fury fought Derek Chisora in yet another trilogy bout for the WBC belt, defeating him yet again.

While we waited for Tyson to sort out a fight the people really want to see he opted for a 10 round money fight against former UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia.  Fury barely scraped through on points, indeed many think he should have lost having been knocked down in the fight.

At last came a match-up the people wanted to see, a unification fight against Usyk in May 2024.  The fight, held in Saudi Arabia yet again, was a worthy of the occasion but in the end it was Usyk who did just enough to win by split decision to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis in 1999 and relegate Fury to just a former world champion.

The Gyspy King has one last chance to become undisputed world champion in the rematch against Usyk in December.  Surely the self proclaimed greatest couldn’t finish with no titles to his name?

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Fury vs Usyk: The Unification Fight

Date & Time (UK) Where Weight Title TV
21 December ~10:30pm Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Heavyweight WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO Sky Box Office

When Tyson Fury announced that he would be fighting former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, most people in boxing thought that it was a bit of a joke. The hope of most boxing fans is that the Gypsy King will fight someone worthy of the title that Fury currently holds, which most didn’t think applied to Ngannou. In the end, the Cameroonian fighter got more than a few decent shots in, knocking Fury to the mat on a couple of occasions. Indeed, when the judges announced that the Gypsy King had won by split decision, it was that that was thought of as the biggest joke of all.

Although Ngannou was tentative initially, aware of the threat posed by Fury, he grew into the fight and it took the Gyspy King until the fifth round to find his rhythm. Even then it looked as though he had prepared poorly for the bout, which was held in Saudi Arabia, and appeared sluggish throughout. The Cameroonian was the better fighter in the eyes of many, but with a likely bout between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on the cards, cynics felt that the judges were only going to call the bout one way. So it proved, with one calling it 95-94 in favour of Ngannou and two giving it to Fury at 96-93 and 95-94.

The result, as controversial as it was, means that the pathway is clear for Fury and Usyk to go head-to-head in a unified world title fight. Whilst some believe that that fight is never going to happen on account of the fact that Fury has been deliberately fighting people he knows he can beat, he did declare after the result of his fight with Ngannou was announced that Usyk will be his next fight ‘guaranteed’. Frank Warren was quick to play down Usyk’s claim that it would be on the 23rd of December, he did say that it would be held in Saudi Arabia, with the country continuing to sports-wash its reputation.

That was the fight that the boxing world wants to see. Whilst many will still be holding out hope that they’ll get to see Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in the ring at some point, there is no question that that is a bout that has lost its lustre. By the time the pair do eventually agree to get in the ring with one another they will almost certainly be past their best, whilst Joshua’s defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr and his two losses to Usyk mean that he’s yesterday’s man in the eyes of the boxing world. As a result, a unification fight between Fury and the Ukrainian was the best that we can hope for if we’re all being honest.

The fight took place in Saudi Arabia on 18th May 2024 and it was a pulsating battle between two committed fighters.  In the end Fury lost by split decision to Usyk in a bout that could have gone either way.  On balance Usyk did deserve the win as he was more professional on the day and was technically better.  This meant Usyk became the first undisputed world champion since Lewis by taking Tyson’s WBC belt.  Really the fight didn’t matter that much as we knew all along whatever the result there would be a rematch.  That matchup is scheduled for 21st December, also in Saudi Arabia (will we ever see a big fight anywhere else now?).

Not that that is anything to be sniffed at, of course. The Gyspy King is one of the best pound-for-pound heavyweights that the sport has ever seen, even if he is problematic as a person. Usyk, meanwhile, established himself as the undisputed cruiserweight when he became the first boxer in the division to hold all four major world titles at the same time. He then went on to join both Evander Holyfield and David Haye in being the undisputed cruiserweight champion and becoming the world heavyweight champion, with the three of them being the only ones to manage it.  Now he is the undisputed heavyweight champion.

This is, then, a genuine clash of the titans and might well be Fury’s last genuinely big bout before he decides to hang up his gloves. It is obviously a chance for both men to make vast sums of money, but it isn’t a ‘money fight’ in the same way as the bout between Fury and Ngannou was. That was essentially just for the money, whereas this one is about so much more than that. It is, most importantly, the fight that everyone that has anything to do with boxing is desperate to see, pitting two of the best boxers on the planet right now up against one another in a truly special heavyweight battle.

What Are They Fighting For?

various boxing images

In simple terms, the most important thing that the two boxers are fighting for is the right to declare themselves to be the best heavyweight boxer in the world. That is because this is a unification fight, with Fury having no belts now and Usyk offering his WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles. Whichever fighter is declared the winner will therefore hold all of the major heavyweight titles, which will make them the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Since 1921, there have been just 29 undisputed heavyweight champions, with the titles required to earn that moniker having changed over the years. Since 2007, a fighter has needed to hold the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles in order to be called undisputed, which is why this fight is seen as so important. It would see heavyweight boxing’s titles all under the same holder for the first time in a couple of decades, which is prestigious in and of itself. Little wonder, therefore, that the boxing world is so very keen to see this fight actually happen after years of close calls but no-goes.

There is also the small matter of a shed load of cash that will be on offer to the fighters. Bob Arum, Fury’s promoter, declared that the world heavyweight champion is likely to earn in excess of £100 million from the fight, which would be a world record amount. Becoming the first unified champion of the four-belt era is not something to be sniffed at, which is why there is such a huge amount of money on offer. Having previously claimed he didn’t get involved in the money side of things, Fury said this about the deal that he signed with the Saudi Arabians, a deal that was thought to be the ‘biggest deal in all of sport’:

“I can’t say but it’s the biggest boxing deal ever done in history. You know like all these big football deals, Ronaldo and Neymar and whoever else they’re trying to deal with, blows all that out of the water. Big, big, big.”

What The Experts Think

boxing gloves impacting

The fight will be part of ‘Riyadh season’ in Saudi Arabia, which goes on until March, so there is a fair bit of wiggle room in terms of when it will actually happen.  Right now the bout is due in December but we know from the past that often the fights are pushed back.

Regardless of when it happens, if it actually does then it will be a fight for the ages. Usyk has never lost a professional bout and Fury’s only loss in his career was to Usyk in May, meaning that it is a bout that will pit the unstoppable force against the immovable object. It is perhaps not all that surprising, therefore, that the experts aren’t keen to be drawn on who they think will win. Of course, the fight and rematch has been being mooted for several years now, so there have been plenty of opinions shared on it since Usyk first managed to get the win against Anthony Joshua. As a result, there are a few opinions we can offer on its likely outcome.

Former cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson, for example, believes that it would be a ‘perfect match up’ between two unorthodox fighters. For him, it will be Fury that comes out on top, with the fighter saying, “Usyk’s an outstanding fighter and Tyson Fury’s answered all the questions and proved everything that he can in boxing, in all different ways against all shapes and sizes.”.

Joe Joyce, who fought Usyk as an amateur, said, “With Usyk it’s about landing the punches. He sets traps, he’s a very tricky boxer and moves his head, good footwork and steps in and out of range avoiding shots so he’s quite hard to hit. So you can have as much punch power as you want but if you’re not landing the shots then there’s no point.”.

Another former boxer, Ricky Hatton, thinks that if anyone has a chance of beating Fury then it’s Usyk, given the fact that he’s an Olympic gold medalist as well as undisputed cruiserweight and the heavyweight champion. In the end, though, the Hitman can’t ‘see past Tyson’. He said,

“I just think Fury beats him in all areas. He’s taller, he’s bigger, he’s heavier, he’s stronger. He can fight southpaw or orthodox, fight up close, fight at a distance. When you think Tyson has the height, the reach, he can box southpaw, orthodox, stand there, sit in there and have fight, he can sit and sway and move and make you miss off the backfoot. He can lean, counterpunch, he does everything Usyk does and he’s got the strength and weight advantage.”.

For former world champion George Groves, however, the fights that the Gypsy King has been choosing don’t put him a good position to win this one. He said,

“Usyk wins. I don’t think Fury’s run of fights serve him well to fight in January, say, because his last time out was Chisora, that was almost like a glorified spar…Who knows what your mindset is when you’re fighting someone who you know is inferior to you, so has he been training properly? Is he sharp? Has he had the right sparring? Usyk is exceptional at being able to change and adapt. His boxing ability is superior, in my opinion, to everyone else in the heavyweight division.”.

Former world title challenger and boxing expert Matthew Macklin is also of the opinion that Usyk’s skillset will be too much for Fury. He said,

“I think Usyk definitely brings a set of problems for Fury that he hasn’t seen off anyone else, that no one else brings to the table. I think pretty much everyone Fury’s boxed, he’s the better boxer and he’s got the better ring IQ. He’s smart and he’s got the physical attributes. But I think with Usyk’s boxing ability and ring smarts, he’ll have met his match there. Also, the fact that Usyk is smaller, lighter, more mobile, I wonder if that could advantage him in some areas.”.

What Next For Fury & Usyk?

heavyweight boxer looks like anthony joshua

The big question will be about what comes next for the two fighters. Tyson Fury has repeatedly threatened to retire every time he’s had a fight, but if he were to defeat Usyk then it is easy to see him doing just that. If he were to lose, on the other hand, then it’s difficult to imagine a world in which he just slopes quietly off into the night. Following the rematch the Gypsy King might dictate whether he chooses to opt for retirement instead in the event that he wins a really tricky bout against the Ukrainian.

For his part, Usyk is 37 and he won’t have a host of other opportunities to fight at the top of his game, so might well choose to bow out as the best in the world if he beats Tyson again. That being said, it is fair to say that his style of boxing isn’t necessarily one in which youth and speed are key aspects of what he does, so might well decide that it is worth taking on anyone else in the heavyweight division in order to prove that he’s the best there’s ever been, should he emerge victorious. For both fighters, though, a big money rematch is likely the last big fight we will see for a while.

Oleksandr Usyk Profile

Oleksandr UsykBorn in Simferopol, Crimean Oblast, Ukrainian SSR in January of 1987, he played football until he was 15 when he switched to boxing. A graduate of the Lviv State University of Physical Culture, he won an Olympic gold medal during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. When he retired from amateur boxing, he did so with a record of 335 wins and 15 losses. Just before he turned professional, he took part in the World Series of Boxing in the heavyweight division, winning all of his bouts.

He turned professional towards the end of 2013, signing a promotional deal with K2 Promotions, which was the platform of the Klitschko brothers. He was a cruiserweight, defeating Felipe Romero courtesy of a fifth-round knockout in his first professional fight. A number of similar wins saw him climb the ranks of boxing, earning the interim WBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight title when he defeated Daniel Bruwer by way of technical knockout in October of 2014.

In 2016, Usyk travelled to Poland to take on the Polish boxer Krzysztof Głowacki, who has a record of 26-0 at the time. He won by unanimous decision, earning the WBO cruiserweight title as a result. He announced that he hoped to one day fight Anthony Joshua as a heavyweight in December of 2016, prior to his bout with Thabiso Mchunu on his American debut. In 2017 he took on Michael Hunter, once again winning thanks to a unanimous decision from the judges.

More wins, in fights such as those against other boxers in the World Boxing Super Series, saw him earn a solid reputation as a decent boxer. When he defeated Murat Gassiev in July 0f 2018, he became the first-ever four-belt undisputed champion of the cruiserweight division. On the seventh of September 2018, he signed a multi-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing, the first of which saw him come up against Tony Bellew. It was to be Bellew’s last fight, which the judges awarded to Usyk.

Although he was written off before he even got into the ring with AJ in September 2021 it was Usyk who controlled the bout from the outset, despite the fight being in AJ’s home city, London.  He simply didn’t allow Joshua to box as he usually does, he held him off in the initial rounds (where AJ is famous for early knockouts) and then stamped his authority on the match winning pretty much every round.

At the end of round 12 he nearly knocked AJ out and walked away with the greatest, and most unexpected, victory of his career winning by unanimous decision (117–112, 116–112 and 115–113).  He may be seen as a cruiserweight but right now he is heavyweight champion and will be looking at his compatriot Wladimir Klitschko as a role model for the future.

While waiting for Fury to sort himself out Usyk defended is WBA belt against mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois.  Usyk won by knockout in the ninth but not without controversy.  Dubois managed to floor Usyk in the fifth but the punch was judged to be a low blow and Usyk was given time to recover.  Had that not been called a low blow then Dubois would be holding the belts now.

Both Usyk and Fury were knocked down in the fights prior to their first meeting, under different circumstances, before they finally met in a unification fight in Saudi Arabia in May 2024.  It showed that both have vulnerabilities and whoever can exploit their opponents weaknesses would likely win.  That was exactly what happened with a classic battle worthy of the occasion that was just edged by Usyk by split decision.  That made him the first unified World Champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.  In a period that is so difficult for Ukraine he has offered the country some pride and joy.

If he wins the rematch he will solidify that position and remain an unbeaten undisputed world champion.  If he doesn’t he will be 37 going on 38 with no belts to his name.  To say it is a big fight is an understatement.

Usyk Stats and Facts

  • Full Name: Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk
  • Nickname: The Cat, Olek
  • Nationality: Ukrainian
  • Date of Birth: 17th January 1987
  • Stance: Southpaw
  • Weight: Heavyweight
  • Height: 6 foot 3 inches
  • Reach: 78 inches
  • Professional Record To Date: 22 fights, 22 wins, 0 loss, 0 draws, 14 knock-outs
  • Titles: Current WBC, IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO champion: Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion

Tyson Fury Profile

boxing legend poster with union jack flag

The world of boxing has always been one filled with controversy, but few characters quite tick that box like Tyson Fury. Even his nickname suggest a touch of the less palatable, being known as The Gypsy King. Born in the Wythenshawe area of Manchester in 1988, Tyson Luke Fury, his nickname comes from the fact that his family has Irish Traveller heritage. You could say that Fury was born to be a boxer, having been given the name ‘Tyson’ by his dad as a nod to the then-reigning world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson.

That decision came about because his father, John Fury, was a boxer in the 1980s. Having begun life as a bare-knuckle fighter and occasional unlicensed boxer, John later turned professional and was known as ‘Gypsy’ John Fury. That’s not the only link to boxing in his family, either. The former WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee is Tyson Fury’s cousin, as are both Hosea Burton, the one-time British light heavyweight, and Hughie Fury, a heavyweight. There’s also a family link to Bartley Gorman, the self-proclaimed ‘King of the Gypsies’.

Early Career

boxing gloves red pairDespite having been born in the Manchester area, Tyson Fury identifies strongly with his Irish heritage and that might explain why his early boxing career began at the Holy Family Boxing Club in the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast. He soon switched to the Smithboro Club in the County Monaghan district of the Republic of Ireland. In 2006 he won a bronze medal during the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, as well as taking part in the senior national championships that year.

His first real victory came in May of 2007 when he won the EU Junior Championship for England. Despite being ranked as the third best junior in the world, he missed out on a place in the Olympic squad to travel to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games to David Price, who he had lost to in the senior national championships back in 2006. Price’s absence at the Olympics played into Tyson’s hands, however, and he became the ABA national champion in 2008. It also persuaded him to turn professional earlier than intended, fearing that he might wait around for the 2012 Olympics only to miss out again.

Turning Professional

boxing ringHaving fought thirty-five fights as an amateur and racking up a score of thirty-one wins and four defeats, with twenty-six of his wins being via knockout, Fury became a professional in December of 2008 when he fought on the undercard of Carl Froch and Jean Pascal in Nottingham. His first professional bout was against a Hungarian named Bela Gyongyosi, with Fury winning via technical knockout in the first round.

Fury enjoyed six more fight in the next seven months, winning all of them within four rounds. In September of 2009 he fought his biggest fight so far when he took on the reigning English heavyweight champion, John McDermott. The match was a closely fought contest that lasted the full ten rounds before Fury won on points. Many considered this to be the incorrect decision, having scored the match in favour of McDermott.

Climbing The Ladder

boxing knockout

Fury kept on challenging himself, leading to a match against the undefeated heavyweight Derek Chisora in July of 2011. Around three million people tuned into Channel 5 to watch the twenty-two-year-old Fury beat the man five years his elder on points after twelve tough rounds. That resulted in the Manchester-born boxer becoming the British and Commonwealth heavyweight title holder, which in turn led to more fights.

In 2011 Fury fought two fights in the space of three months, taking on Nicolai Firtha in a non-title bout in Belfast in September before defending his Commonwealth title against Canadian champion Neven Pajkic in November. He won the first fight in the fifth round and the second in the third. He fought a number of other bouts in the months that followed, leading to a match against Kevin Johnson in November of 2012 that he won and, in doing so, set himself up for a fight against the WBC title holder at the time, Vitali Klitschko.

Becoming World Champion

boxer celebrating in front of union jackHaving once again fought Chisora in November 2014 in a WBO title eliminator, Tyson Fury made a declaration to the world champion at the time, Wladimir Klitschko, that he was ‘coming for’ him. Before the world heavyweight title fight, however, he took on Romanian-German fighter Christian Hammer at the O2 in London. Fury won the fight in the eighth round when Hammer’s corner stopped the fight, setting him up nicely for his battle with Klitschko.

In preparation for the fight, which was due to take place in October of 2015 but was postponed because the Ukrainian suffered a calf injury, Fury worked with two of the highest ranked kickboxers in Rico Verhoeven and Benjamin Adegbuyi. In the end the much anticipated fight, which took place in Dusseldorf’s Espirit Arena, was a disappointment. Neither fighter truly went for their opponent, with Klitschko landing just fifty-two of his two hundred and thirty-one punches and Fury not doing much better with only eighty-six of his three hundred and seventy-one punches finding their mark.

Nevertheless, Tyson Fury won the bout thanks to the judges’s scores, earning cards of 115:112, 115:112 and 116:111. It meant that he became the unified world champion of the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, Lineal and The Ring heavyweight titles. As the contract for the fight had a rematch clause, however, the IBF stripped him of his title as he was unable to take on their mandatory challenger.

In October of 2016 he voluntarily vacated the WBA (Unified), WBO, IBO titles after it emerged he was under investigation for anti-doping and medical issues. In that same month, the British Boxing Board of Control suspended his licence.

Tyson Fury Come-Back

boxer punching a bag

In early 2018 Fury announced his come-back on Twitter.  He quickly embarked on a serious training campaign having gained a lot of weight and lost muscle mass.  By June 2018, having lost reportedly over 110 pounds in weight, he fought Sefer Serferi and won in 4 rounds.  Despite losing a lot of weight he still came in 66 pounds heavier than his opponent.  Fury was an easy victor, showboating for the first two rounds before dispatching Serferi easily following a warning from the referee.

Fury followed up with another routine victory against Francesco Pianeta in August 2018.  In fact, he said he only took the fight to 10 rounds so he could work on his jab!  The victory meant Fury could finally get back into the big leagues and faced his toughest test since he lost his belts in 2016 when he took on Deontay Wilder in December 2018 in the US for the WBC heavyweight title.

The winner was hoping to earn the right to take on Anthony Joshua, but this had to wait as fight ended in an unexpected draw.  One of the best heavyweight bouts in years, the fight lasted the full 12 rounds with one judge scoring for Wilder, one for Fury and one a tie, leading to the draw decision.

Fury was twice knocked-down in the 9th and 12th round, and somehow got up and carried on, but on balance most people think it was Fury who won showed top class counter-punching skills.

The Gyspy King Becomes Heavyweight World Champion, Again

tyson fury dressed as a king on a throneThe Wilder rematch in Las Vegas in February 2020 was one of the most hyped fights in decades, it broke records for attendance and viewing figures and fortunately for us it lived up to its billing.

Fury knew he was the better boxer but feared he would be unable to win on points against the US opponent on his home soil, therefore, just two months prior to the WBC fight he changed his trainer to SugarHill Steward and decided to take a more direct approach.  Deontay and many others had said Tyson couldn’t punch, stating he had pillow fists.

The Gyspy King, who was carried to the ring on a throne dressed as a king, came straight out at Wilder, putting him on the back foot and not allowing him to dictate with his hard punching style.  Fury owned the fight, knocking down Wilder not once but twice in the fifth and seventh rounds before Wilder’s team thew in the towel.

It was one of the most accomplished boxing styles of a generation and outstanding considering he had only been working with SugarHill for a matter of weeks before the fight.  It made him odds on to beat Joshua now, something unimaginable 12 months before.

AJ Has To Wait As Wilder Forces A Third Fight

heavyweight boxers graphic

Finally, finally, we thought we had at last secured the bout everyone wants to see, the fight of a generation, if not the biggest British fight of all time.  The AJ v Fury fight had been set for the 14th August 2021, it was to be hosted by Saudi Arabia, which was a bit of a kick in the teeth to British fans believing it should be held on home soil, but nonetheless people were very happy the fight was finally happening after serial delays.

Wilder of course had the right to a third re-match, it was a clause in the contract for the second fight.  It wasn’t his fault that the fight didn’t happen sooner, that was thanks largely to issues with restrictions caused by corona virus.  Still, many hoped he would step aside to allow the unification fight to go ahead but as we know boxing is a selfish sport and that was born out by Wilder taking the legal route to force the third fight.  Wilder, understandably, wanted the WBC belt for himself so he can be the one to take on AJ or Usyk.

That was not to be for Wilder though.  Despite a brilliant fight that saw Wilder and Fury knocked down in the 3rd and 4th rounds respectively, it was Fury who dominated the bout, eventually beating a resilient Wilder in the 11th by knockout.

Next up was a mandatory fight for the WBC belt against Dillian Whyte who was dispatched routinely in the 6th round with a perfect upper-cut that was fitting for the 94,000 Wembley crowd.  Fury said both before and after the bout that he will now retire, having won everything he can win and earned more money than he would ever need.  This would rob boxing fans of the biggest unification fight of a generation, however, so let’s hope that is just him playing games again.

Fury Calls Out AJ But Fights Chisora Instead For A Third Time

boxing gloves impactingFollowing the easy victory over Whyte and AJ’s disappointing second bout against Usyk where he failed to get his  IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles back few were expecting Fury to call out AJ.  If we’ve learned anything over the years with Tyson, though, it is that he doesn’t follow convention or necessarily do what people expect him to.

After saying he had retired he was clearly tempted by Usyk calling him out following his rematch win in August 2022.  It was the logical step if he wasn’t going to retire to take a crack at becoming unified heavyweight champion, the first in over two decades.  Most believed Tyson hadn’t really retired and so few were shocked when Tyson decided to call someone out, but they we were all surprised when we heard it was AJ he was calling on not Usyk.

Tyson more than anything else wants to be seen as the best fighter of his generation if not the best heavyweight of all time.  That should mean winning the other belts off Usyk but in Fury’s head he knows that the question over whether AJ could have beaten him will always hang in the air.  He therefore called AJ out to settle any future debate as to who was the better British fighter.

Unfortunately fate seems to be against this fight with AJ failing to agree terms in the end.  Rather than wait any longer Fury called our Derek Chisora for a trilogy bout having already beaten him twice in 2011 and 2016.  Chisora had also said he was retiring and so it looks like the fight was mostly about money but the WBC was is on the line.  Tyson dispatched Derek in 10 rounds, by knock out, to be fair the fight should have been called off after round 3 as it was obvious Fury would win for a third time.

Hopefully there is still time yet for him to have a go at unifying the belts with a final career fight against Usyk, who held his fists up to Fury after he won the Chisora fight.

Fury Embarks On A Saudi Money Stop

francis ngannou

X2o, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When it was announced that Fury would finally fight Usyk in a unification fight it was music to the ears of boxing fans who have waited years for a proper big fight.  That fight was scheduled for December 2023 in Saudi Arabia but later put back to February 2024 as in the meantime Fury decided he would have a payday by fighting former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a 10 round match in Saudi Arabia.

While the fight was fought under boxing rules the WBC belt was not on the line and it was largely supposed to be an easy fight for Fury and a quick way to earn a few million.  In the end, though, it was far from that and Ngannou surprised Fury with his movement that saw the former MMA fighter knock him down in the 5th round.

Fury got up and eventually won on points but not without more controversy with many feeling the fight should have been scored to Ngannou.  Whatever you think the result should have been it showed the Fury is not infallible and it will be something Usyk will have taken note of.  Usyk himself was knocked down in his last fight against Dubois, but not officially as the blow was deemed below the belt (perhaps controversially too).

What this means is this big battle is tightly poised and no one has a clue who will win.  It promises to be one of the best fights of all time.

Former Champion Again

Oleksandr UsykWe waited for so long for a proper boxing match with real titles on the line that when the world was finally treated to a unification fight between Fury (WBC) and Usyk (WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, Ring) in Saudi Arabia in 2024 nobody believed it would actually happen until they saw the first punch thrown.

The fight proved to be fitting of the occasion going to twelve rounds and eventually won by Usyk by split decision relegating Fury to being a former champion while the Ukrainian became the undisputed world champion, a feat not matched since Lennox Lewis in 1999.  Either of them would have deserved the status but when it came down to it Usyk just had the edge in exploiting Tyson’s weaknesses more than he could exploit Usyk’s.

As we are often told in elite sport it is fine margins that matter and that was true here.  On another day with other judges Fury might be the undisputed World Champion but the reality is he isn’t, he is now a former former champion.  How that will site with the big man is not yet known but we know he has another chance as he has decided to hold Usyk to a rematch in December 2024.

What we do know is Tyson Fury proclaims to be the greatest and the greatest surely wouldn’t end their career as a former champion?

Controversies

As mentioned at the start of this piece, Tyson Fury is a controversial and divisive figure. A practicing Catholic, the boxer has made numerous statements over the years that have caused raised eyebrows.

In 2013, for example, he declared that he would ‘hang’ his own sister if she were promiscuous. He also declared David Price and Tony Bellew to be ‘gay lovers’, which was just one of the homophobic comments that he’s made during his career.

Known as someone who can go ‘off the wall’ Fury also very publicly set a bad example when he went off the rails following is first triumph as heavyweight champion.  Heavy drinking and drug abuse lead him to lose his belts, balloon to 28 stone and generally became an outcast.  While that is a dark chapter in his history he should also be commended for coming back from that to become heavyweight champion again, not something easily done.

Tyson Fury Stats and Facts

  • Full Name: Tyson Luke Fury
  • Nickname: Gypsy King
  • Nationality: British
  • Date of Birth: 12th August 1988
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Weight: Heavyweight
  • Height: 6 foot 8 3/4 inches (206 cm)
  • Reach: 85 inches (216 cm)
  • Professional Record To Date: 36 fights, 34 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss, 24 knock-outs
  • Titles: Former IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO, WBC

Why Isn’t The AJ Fight Happening?

man holding contract and clock

One of the big questions on the lips of all boxing fans is why, exactly, the Battle of Britain between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury isn’t taking place.

It looked for all the world as though the pair would finally be going head-to-head, given the fact that one of the previous problems to the pair getting into the ring had been solved. In the past, the various broadcasters struggled to agree over rights, but Fury confirmed that BT, DAZN and ESPN were all ‘on the same page’ and were ‘happy with everything’.

Eddie Hearn, meanwhile, responded in a bemused manner, saying that he had ‘absolutely no idea’ what Fury was talking about. He said,

“I don’t think we’re a million miles away but I don’t know really whether Tyson Fury wants this fight. I think he just wants to fight Manuel Charr on 3 December, but I don’t think anyone else wants that fight. Hopefully we can keep moving forward. We’ll carry on and while there’s hope, we won’t stop trying. From either side, I can’t fault the process of trying to get done the biggest fight in British history.”

Hearn also took a pop at Fury’s constant indecision about his career, saying,

“The only thing I can fault is we don’t really know where we stand. One minute the fight’s off, the fight’s on; one minute he’s retired, one minute he’s fighting Manuel Charr. He’s just made another offer to Derek Chisora. I don’t know.”

According to Hearn, Joshua had accepted a verbal agreement to take a 60-40 split in the purse and also a date that was an advantage to Fury just to get the fight done, but it isn’t going to happen for some reason.

Fury vs Joshua: H2H Stats + Betting Offers

It is a really tough fight to call, which makes it such an enticing spectacle in an age where most fights have clear favourites due to mandatory fighters always getting first dibs.

Usually we cover all of Tyson’s fights on this page but the AJ bout is such a seminal moment we have created a page full of head-to-head stats to help you with your bets along with all the best betting offers and free bets.

The table below is a preview, head over to the AJ v Fury page for more.

Anthony Joshua Tyson Fury
% KO’s (Number) 81% (25) 71% (24)
Round With Most KO’s 2 5
Ave Punches / Round 35 47
Punch Success 31% 25%
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