Just watch back the press conference to officially announce that Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk blockbuster and it’s clear that SIZE absolutely does matter. In the minds of both fighters.
Fury and Usyk will lock horns on February 17 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with the winner set to become boxing’s first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis back in 1999.
‘The Gypsy King’ (34-0-1) will likely enter the ring more than 50lbs heavier than his Ukrainian opponent – well in excess of three stones – similar to his weight advantage over Deontay Wilder. An advantage he used to bully and steamroller ‘The Bronze Bomber’ to two devastating defeats in 2020 and 2021.
When the two fighters met late last year to announce their superfight, it was an advantage Fury was clearly keen to re-iterate at every turn. He showered Usyk with abuse, much of it punctuated with the adjective ‘little’. Everything from ‘ugly little man’ to ‘little sausage’ – traditional Fury rhetoric.
Usyk on Fury showdown
Usyk though, generally a man who prefers to do his talking inside of the ring, had a very limited but telling response to the tirade of vitriol coming his way. He used an epic tale from history, one from the Bible, to explain just why he can shock the world again. And take Fury’s unbeaten record away while maintaining his own.
“I want to tell one story, which looks very similar to our story with Tyson. About David and Goliath. When the Lord gives me Tyson in my hands, I will make my job.”
Fury described that Usyk claim as “impossible”, adding “the Lord would never deliver me to you,” but the betting odds at least suggest this will not be the one-sided fight many had predicted in the past.
Usyk has defeated Anthony Joshua twice in world title combat, while Fury struggled badly to overcome professional boxing novice Francis Ngannou in their crossover showdown last October. It’s now pretty much a pick ’em fight with Tyson still shading it as favourite, but only by a whisker.
The Ukrainian superstar (21-0) is a supremely talented boxer, even Fury admitted as much when not throwing barbs at his opponent. But ‘The Gypsy King’ re-iterated that he’s seen and beaten many men who look just like the former cruiserweight king.
Usyk meanwhile produced one last thought to tantalisingly set the scene for February 17 in the desert. He claimed: “The first time I made a face-off with Tyson after the Chisora fight (in December 2022) he was very motivated with high energy and high spirits. The last time, he was exhausted”.
Who will be proved right? Who knows, but we do have a fascinating showdown for the ages in prospect. And SIZE absolutely will continue to be the BIGGEST narrative of all.
Fury vs Usyk – the size difference
So just what are the size differentials between Fury and Usyk?
Height: Fury stands a huge 6ft 9ins tall, some six inches taller than Usyk (6ft 3ins)
Reach: Again ‘The Gypsy King’ (85ins) has a big advantage here, some seven inches over Usyk (78ins)
Weight: Fury weighed a massive 277lbs (19st 11lbs) for his last fight vs Francis Ngannou last October. Usyk meanwhile weighed in at a shade under 221lbs (15st 11lbs) for his last outing vs Daniel Dubois in Poland last August. If the pair scaled the same next month, Fury would outweigh Usyk by FOUR WHOLE STONES.