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Oleksandr usyk plays well

Written by: Sean Crose

One of the most exciting (or annoying, depending on how you look at it) aspects of today's fight game is the TYSON FURY SHOW. Make no mistake about it, the towering Englishman has a way of drawing attention to himself (just like his big daddy). It's hard to ignore a loud, nearly seven-foot tall man with a distinctive swagger, after all. Yet on the eve of his fight with Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, Fury finds himself with a lot to prove, proving, in fact, that he seems to have turned down the volume on his schtick a bit.

For starters, Fury did poorly last season against UFC's Francis Ngannou. No one expected Fury to come out on top when facing a mixed martial artist making his ring debut, but that's exactly what happened. To make matters worse, fellow Englishman Anthony Joshua went on to make brutally light work of Ngannou a few months later. Sure, Fury beat Ngannou by a controversial split decision, but Joshua made Ngannou look like a tsunami victim – that's how hard Ngannou was thrown. Once again, Fury has a lot to prove when he steps into the ring in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to face the undefeated Usyk.

Because of this, however, Fury looks really thin and says he will go into this weekend. Training photos show a man who, despite his flamboyant personality, takes things seriously. That didn't seem to be the case when he fought Ngannou. In short, Fury, who calls himself the “King of the Gypsies,” looks ready to do something. Well, he's still Tyson Fury. “Good, bad, careless, fat, overweight, whatever, drunk, I'll still show up and fight,” he recently said. IFL TV.

In stark contrast to Fury is the tough Usyk. Not that Ukrainian isn't funny sometimes. He can be. What Usyk is about his opponents, however, is that he is extremely skilled, a very strong competitor. To understand how focused Usyk is on this weekend's work, check out his latest words Frank Warren's Queensbury promotions: “I have been preparing for this fight for 22 years. It's a big event in Ukraine.” Given the fact that Ukraine is still mired in a bloody war that began when the country was invaded by Russian forces in 2022, it's easy to understand why Saturday's fight is so important to Usyk.

Unlike Fury, Usyk is a constant in the sense that he knows how to conduct himself at all times, and that is with confidence, in a professional manner. However, the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles have made it clear that they do not allow Fury in his head. “I understand Fury,” he admitted while admitting “(a) that it's difficult because of (his) British manner.” It's hard to have a verbal conversation with someone who just won't share. Not that it would bother Fury. However, it's clear that Usyk, who is a consummate professional, is not letting Fury get to him as Fury has other fighters.

In short, Oleksandr Usyk plays well.

Will that be enough against Fury, though? It's a tough question, as it's hard to see where this fight might go. Perhaps it will become clear that Usyk can use angles on Fury the way he did on Anthony Joshua. Or maybe it will all come down to Fury being able to piss off the little man (though I have a hard time seeing that happening). No matter what, one thing is almost certain – the fight will be won through action rather than out of the ring mind games.

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