Boxing is a sport unlike any other because the goal is not to score a touchdown, put balls through a basket, hit a home run, or score more points. The goal is to take another man’s consciousness, by force.
Two people. Alone in a ring. Mano a mano. Standing. Duking it out. Competition at its best.
And unlike MMA fights, there is no tap out in boxing. Just KO’s or the best man standing at the end of the bout.
Notice how crowds jump to their feet and one’s heart palpitates when someone is being knocked out by a barrage of punches in the ring.
It’s almost like time stretches and everyone, the fighters and the audience, are taken into this realm that’s surreal, almost in slow motion.
For those who love the art of boxing, those who are captivated by the sight of two people, brave and strong, using their skills, strength and will to take an opponent’s consciousness away, no other sport can match the thrill of a prize fight between champions.
Which brings me a fight between Usyk and Fury. It will be a brilliant contest between two very smart and skillful fighters.
There are writers out there that think Fury is just a big fat slob who smothers his opponent, sucks out their energy and wins. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
Fury is a surgeon. He knows just where to cut, where to incise; and his body and weight cuts deep.
Usyk is an artist, painting his masterpiece on the heads and jaws of those on his canvass.
Imagining the game plan for those fighters, Fury will come out of the first bell dancing, switching between left and right stances, modulating to create uncertainty for Usyk, who would have had to train, with both lefties and righties because few sparring partners of his caliber have that ability.
Fury will be feinting as much as possible. Usyk is cagey and he reacts quickly to the slightest threat. Fury is a fabulous feinter, and the more Usyk is manipulated to jump back each time Fury feints, the more energy he will be using through the fight.
Fury will mix it up, sometimes feinting, other times measuring the distance and calibrating his jabs to establish a depth of I field, throwing rights from different angles to penetrate Usyk’s formidable defenses.
Because he’s so much taller, Usyk will have to punch up to score effectively. Fury will be using his shoulders to glance off the blows. If Usyk. tries going to the body Fury will take the shots to pop Usyk in the head each time he tries.
Fury will approach each round with a different intensity. He will be aggressive, then defensive. He will dance. He will plod. He will hang heavy on Usyk who will come into the ring well trained in clinch fighting. Lots of uppercuts will be thrown by both fighters.
But Fury will stop them with his elbows. He will make Usyk pay during those exchanges.
Fury will train to increase the power of his punches. He will hit Usyk wherever he can, and the bigger man’s blows will rattle Usyk’s body regardless where they land... on Usyk’s gloves, on Usyk’s shoulders, on Usyk’s body.
If Fury fights lefty through most of the fight, he will not have to worry about Usyk’s left hand, the same that dispensed Anthony Joshua.
I see Fury alternating back and forth to foment confusion. For sure Usyk has fought a lot more righties than lefties in his career and he will have to learn on the job how to deal with the shifting sands.
Fury will take some heavy shots from Usyk for sure. But he should be able to weather them.
Also, Usyk hates the ropes. Look at the few times either he or Joshua were leaning on them during their last two fights.
Fury will take him to the ropes and pin him with his girth.
Usyk should be smart enough not to struggle against Tyson when being tied up. He should just immediately stop fighting when clinched. He should relax, rest and wait for the ref to pull them apart. Struggling to get out of Tyson’s grip is fruitless and he will only tire doing so.
We can expect Tyson to do a lot of trash talking during the fight, that is until he takes a few had ones. And even then, it will be hard to stop him from trying to work Usyk psychologically.
Usyk will be hard to intimidate though, due to his steadfast faith in a higher power.
But it’s quite possible, perhaps even probable, that by round 10 Usyk will start to tire. In his last fight with AJ you could see he was losing steam in the last two rounds and at that point AJ was finally figuring him out.
We shall see. Regardless of what any fight pundit or reporter predicts, it will be one of the greatest ring battles ever fought.