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Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk predictions: What boxing experts are saying about the fight

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk face off in Saudi Arabia
Fury and Usyk have similar, crafty styles - Getty Images/Justin Setterfield

Tyson Fury can become the undisputed world heavyweight champion on Saturday night when he fights Oleksandr Usyk in a much-anticipated unification fight.

Heavyweight boxing has not had an undisputed heavyweight champion since 1999, and victory for Fury would cement his status as the best of his generation. Speaking in an exclusive interview with Telegraph Sport, Fury said he is not thinking about legacy and his only priority is “getting paid”.

Usyk promises to be stiff opposition however, having retained his IBF, WBA and WBO titles when he stopped Daniel Dubois in the ninth round of his previous fight.

Fury is looking to bounce back from his last bout, when he was knocked down by former UFC champion Francis Ngannou before winning on a split decision. This what the great and the good of the boxing world are predicting.

George Groves: ‘Usyk’s too smart’

Speaking to TNT Sports, Groves is backing Usyk: “I think Usyk is far too smart to fall into that trap of having the bigger guy lay on him and use his size against him. He cuts out at amazing angles, he can himself into angles where he can touch you three, four, five times before he gets that power shot in. He’s done it time and time again, since he has moved up to heavyweight he hasn’t put a foot wrong. He’ll be the favourite I think.”

Carl Froch: ‘Usyk won’t let Fury lean’

Froch also favours Usyk and tipped him to pick and choose his rounds. Froch told TNT Sports: “What’s Usyk now, 37 years old? So he’s slowing down but he’s got the ability to have a couple of close rounds, not lose the round, and say ‘right I struggled there’. He goes back to his corner and then just lays it on. He gets behind more feints, more footwork, more aggression with the body language, he doesn’t even have to throw a punch. He won’t allow Fury to just lean on him and outweight him.”

Mike Tyson: ‘Fury will overpower him’

Speaking to Fight Hub TV, Tyson said: “Hey, we should [not focus on what Fury did against Ngannou], but you have to understand that he is still the champion. He made that night a great night. He gave Francis the opportunity, and that was just a bad night at the office for him. We all have bad nights, and listen, that was his bad night. I’m going towards Tyson Fury because I think he’s just going to overpower him. He’s going to catch up with him and overpower him.”

Lennox Lewis: ‘The bigger fighter usually wins’

Speaking to The Guardian, Lewis said: “I believe the bigger guy, the better guy, wins. They both have good skill and Usyk has good movement, with good balance, and puts his punches together well. But he’s going up against a 6ft 9in guy and, for me, Tyson Fury is very elusive even if he is so big. If he makes you miss, he makes you pay. It’s an interesting match-up but I always say if two guys have the same technical skill, the bigger fighter wins because he can force his size on the other guy.”

Malik Scott: ‘Usyk to win’

Deontay Wilder’s trainer told Sky Sports: “In terms of winner, I would go with Usyk but at the same time, Fury is big and knows how to use his size. Fury is in better shape than I thought he would be. He’s not slow, he has good punching power and a good boxing mind. It’s a good fight on paper. But we’ll see what happens.”

Conor McGregor: ‘Fury is tough to beat’

The former UFC champion did not want to pick a winner when he was asked by the BBC: “Usyk is a crafty, crafty boxer. If anyone can do it, maybe Usyk can do it, [But] Tyson is also a crafty boxer,” McGregor said. “Plus he has the size. Tyson is a tough man to beat, in the boxing arena.”

Oscar de la Hoya: ‘Fury is bigger version of Usyk’

The former three-weight world champion sees two very similar fighters: “I think Tyson Fury is the bigger version of Usyk. He has speed, he has power, he’s very versatile. I have to go with Tyson.”

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