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Ring Of Fire: Fury vs Usyk - May 18 🇸🇦🥊


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Posted (edited)

RING OF FIRE, eh? Should this be in this section of the forum or the Shitting Thread?

I’ve deliberately held off on doing this post until now because we’ve been burned already with this fight getting delayed. We’re a week out now though. I think it’s happening. Surely, right?

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DAZN/PPV CARD
Tyson Fury©️vs Oleksandr Usyk©️- WBC, WBA, WBO & IBF Heavyweight Titles

Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedis - Vacant IBF Cruiserweight Title

Joe Cordina©️vs Anthony Cacace - IBF Super-Featherweight Title

Frank Sanchez vs Agit Kabayel 

Moses Itauma vs Ilija Mezencev 

Mark Chamberlain vs Joshua Wahab

Sergey Kovalev vs Robin Sirawn Safar

Daniel Lapin vs Octavio Pudivtr 

David Nyika vs Michael Seitz 

Isaac Lowe vs Hasibullah Ahmadi 

 


That’s the card and bout order according to DAZN. Apparently it starts at 5pm UK time and the Fury vs Usyk ring walks are scheduled for 23:05pm. It’s gonna be another loooooooong one. It’s gotta be done though. What a monster fight. Undercard is alright. Opetaia vs Briedis rematch should be good. Kabayel coming off that Makhmudov upset in with another big undefeated lump here. Wasn’t expecting to see 41 year old Kovalev on there either. It’s decent enough. No-one’s here for the undercard though. Fury vs Usyk is a truly historic fight. This will be the first time the Heavyweight division has had an undisputed champion since this man achieved it in 1999.

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Yep, Big Lennox was the last man to unify all the gold. The fact it’s taken 25 years to get to this point again is insane and just shows what a mess the division is, and Boxing as a whole really when it comes to the belts situation. I guess the positive, glass half full way of looking at it though, is that because it’s so rare, it only makes a fight like this even more special.


 

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Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk is almost upon us! I don’t even know where to start with this. It’s been talked about to death, it’s been building for at least a couple of years now and it’s been announced, signed and cancelled in the past. Both have taken shots at the other, both have accused the other of avoiding the fight. It’s taken Big Turki to get this one over the line but here we are. If he can get Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn to let go of each others throats and do business together, getting Fury and Usyk in the ring together was always gonna be doable for Mr Excellency, wasn’t it?

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Look at that for a squad! They even got Rocky Balboa out of mothballs for this one. This is as good as Heavyweight Boxing gets. It would’ve been an absolute crime if these two never squared off. And it’s so refreshing that it’s actually happening in timely fashion. So often these fights come years and years later than they should. This one’s obviously had a few stumbling blocks and hurdles to get over but it doesn’t feel like it’s taken the piss to the degree of say Mayweather vs Pacquiao or Brook vs Khan. Or Joshua vs Wilder which dragged out so long the ship might’ve sailed now. We’re getting this while both are still undefeated and holding all the gold. Both have had the odd less than stellar performance but nothing that’s shattered either man’s aura as the best Heavyweights in the game. And that’s what these two are. When it comes to who the top dog is in Heavyweight Boxing, it’s Fury and has been for years. But if there’s anyone who can knock him off that top spot, for me it’s Usyk. Not saying he’ll definitely win, in fact I’m leaning towards Fury, but he’s the man with the best chance in my opinion. It’s 1a vs 1b and this fight is gonna determine which is which. A proper clash of the titans this is. It’s rare you get a Heavyweight come along who’s as skilled as either Fury or Usyk. To get two come along in the same era and get to see them fight is a real privilege. We’ll probably never be this lucky again in our lifetimes so enjoy this as much as you can while it lasts. What a time to be alive.

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What more is there to even say about Fury at this point? Thinking about it, he’s probably the one boxer we’ve talked about more than any other on here over the years. Whether it’s his in ring accomplishments, his outside the ring antics, his drug test failures, his spiral into depression leading to one of the craziest career comebacks ever. It’s been quite a ride. He’s now 34-0-1 with the only ‘blemish’ being the split draw against Wilder in their first fight back in December 2018. I say ‘blemish’ because anyone who watched that fight knows the score. Tyson won that shit. He went on to boss Wilder in their next 2 fights, closing out the trilogy at 2-0-1 and knocking him out in absolutely devastating fashion in their last fight.

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Ooof. He’s followed that with TKO wins over Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora in a third fight we really didn’t need to see. But whatever. The whole time he was erratic in interviews. It seemed like every other month he was either teasing blockbuster fights with Usyk and Joshua…or he was talking about retirement. Then out of the blue, it was announced he’d actually be doing none of that. He’d be fighting Francis Ngannou instead in a bit of a Boxing vs MMA crossover in Saudi Arabia. Obviously it felt like a complete mismatch. There was a fair bit of backlash to the booking with media in both sports criticising it as a joke and nothing more than a cash grab for Fury. Definitely were elements of that. I don’t think anyone would’ve had a huge problem with it if Fury never had better and more legitimate fights waiting for him. If he’d already beat Usyk and Joshua or whoever, fine, a barmy spectacle against Ngannou probably would’ve been received more positively. It got widely panned though and I think almost everyone went in expecting Fury to just walk through him. They finally met in October and…

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Crazy scenes.

Fury ultimately won by split decision but it wasn’t a good look for him at all. Obviously, since Ngannou got iced by Joshua in March, Ngannou’s performance against Fury has almost 100% been retconned into a fluke and that it was ALL just because Fury took him lightly. There was obviously some of that going on. Nobody’s denying that. But I think it was almost the perfect storm and a mix of Ngannou just legit being a better boxer and better prepared than people expected plus Fury coming in complacent and thinking it’d be easy work. To not give Ngannou any credit for that is bollocks though. While Fury almost certainly came in a bit overconfident, it could also be largely down to just not knowing what to expect out of Ngannou. The element of surprise. In contrast, AJ had the benefit of seeing the Fury fight and knowing that Ngannou can box a bit. He knew what he was up against whereas Fury was going in against the unknown. Whatever.

Yeah, not a good look for Fury. And while people will chalk it all up to Fury just not taking it seriously, is it more than that? Or is there an element that Fury might be starting to slow down? It’s not like he’d looked amazing against Whyte and Chisora before that fight. He’s gonna turn 36 in August, he’s had a lot of fights, a lot of training camps and it’s not like he’s always lived the lifestyle of an athlete out of the ring. All things considered, he’s already had a good innings on top. And when you factor in that his style isn’t like most Heavyweights in that he relies on skills, timing, reflexes and a lot of movement etc more than raw power. Those things typically fade sooner than power. Like I said, that Ngannou fight might’ve been the perfect storm. An older Fury who’s maybe starting to slow down, not in the best of shape and complacent against a mystery of an opponent who can whack a bit but was also bang up for it, motivated beyond belief and leaving no stone unturned in his preparation. Looking back at that fight with the benefit of 7 months worth of hindsight, I think there were a few factors going on. Might’ve been more than just a case of Tyson not taking it seriously.

There’s one thing for sure this time though. He’s definitely taking this fight 100% seriously!

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Looks to be in the best shape he’s been in years. Last time I saw him this lean was probably just before he came back in 2018. He’d dropped about 10st from his maximum lard arse days at that point but put some back on in recent years. It’ll be interesting to see what he weighs in at here. He came in at 277.7lbs against Ngannou in October. No doubt he’ll still look like a wobbly mess in the ring, he always does. He’s built like a bowl of mashed potatoes. But he’s clearly been putting the graft in for this. I don’t think he’ll drop too much weight because he’ll still wanna be able to bully Usyk around in close quarters and lean on him and stuff. His size is the biggest advantage he’s got in this fight. But he knows he’s gonna need to be in better shape for Usyk than he was for Ngannou, Chisora and Whyte.

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Usyk might just be my favourite boxer right now. First off, I just love watching him fight. A joy to watch. Olympic gold medalist in the 2012 Games in London, 21-0 as a pro, one of the greatest Cruiserweights of all time (either him or Holyfield), went 2-0 over Anthony Joshua in back-to-back fights and now holds 3 world championships in the Heavyweight division. He’d already secured his legacy at Cruiserweight when he knocked out Tony Bellew in 2018 but that’s when he finally got on the radar of the wider Boxing audience, the more casual viewers and stuff. His Heavyweight resume isn’t amazing if you take away the two wins over AJ, and I’ve seen that criticism levelled at him from Fury fans. You take out those AJ fights and Usyk’s Heavyweight run consists of Chazz Witherspoon, Derek Chisora and that weird fight with Daniel Dubois last time out. But it’s a bollocks criticism really. If you take Klitschko and Wilder off Fury’s record it doesn’t look very good either. The fact is, there aren’t that many great Heavyweights around at any one time. You’re never gonna have a record that’s chock full of quality wins as a Heavyweight like you maybe can at some of the lower weights. Really good big men are thin on the ground in combat sports. But considering Usyk’s only fought 5 times at Heavyweight, I’d say he’s done just fine.

But for all my talk of Fury getting older and possibly starting a decline, Usyk is actually the older man here. It’s easy to forget because Fury’s looked like a 47 year old Dad since he was about 25. But Usyk’s 37 now. He’s probably not gonna stick around too much longer and, really, after Fury what else is left in the sport for Usyk? There’ll be a rematch clause, there always is. But if Usyk can beat Fury, there’s nothing more to do after that. And if they wind up going to a trilogy or something, Usyk’s gonna be 40 or close to it by the time that’s all done and dusted. To steal a phrase, Fury is literally the ‘Final Boss’ of Usyk’s career.

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Of course, this was supposed to go down in February. Honestly I’ve lost track of how many different dates this fight has been targeted for over the last 18 months or so. It’s been so frustrating. And it didn’t help when Tyson was making all those silly demands about a 70/30 purse split and all that shite. I know at one point last year there was talk of doing the fight at Wembley but that fizzled out. They were definitely on about doing it on the big Saudi card in December as well. Remember when they were cock teasing us that Dec 23rd was gonna be a double header of Fury vs Usyk and AJ vs Wilder on the same night?! 🤣 Then it finally got signed, a poster was made, big fancy cinematic promos were put out, a press conference was held, the lot. Only for us to get to within couple of weeks before the fight and this happens…

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Apologies for the shoddy quality there. It appears Fury has his sparring filmed by someone standing in a steamy shower cubicle. From what you can make out there, it looks like an elbow went in. It did some damage.

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Pretty sure that’s the same area where he got cut against Otto Wallin so most likely just ripped that scar tissue open again. Does beg the question though how that happened so late in training camp when all the hard work should’ve been done. There’d also been rumours that Jai Opetaia dropped him in sparring and was sent away from the camp as a result. Fuck knows and it’s always a pinch of salt with that stuff. But there did seem to be a sense that everything was going a bit wrong in Fury’s camp around that time. And it might’ve been a bit too quick a turnaround after the Ngannou fight anyway, to be fair. As much as we all wanted to see Fury vs Usyk in February, I’m sure we all wanna see the best version of this fight even more. Fury getting a bit more time to rest up and then get himself in top shape is only gonna make for a better fight in the end. All’s well that ends well. As long as the bloody fight actually goes ahead this time!

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Goosebumps. 

I haven’t really got stuck into any build up stuff for this yet. I’ve had this nagging feeling the whole time that it’s gonna get cancelled or postponed again so I guess I’ve subconsciously avoided anything that will get me more hyped so I’m not as gutted when it inevitably gets binned again. Self preservation. But now it’s just days away, I’m allowing myself to get excited about it and I can’t fucking wait! At 35 and 37, these two both probably don’t have a ton of fights left, which is all the more reason why this fight needed to get made now. While I said it hasn’t taken as long to get this done as some fights, if it had taken much longer we might never have seen it.

As for the fight itself, I think Fury wins. I’d love to be proven wrong on that because Usyk’s my guy but there’s a saying that ‘a great big man beats a great little man more often than not’ and I do think there’s a lot of truth to that. They’re both incredibly skilled boxers, both of a similar age, both have a ton of experience. But when all other things are mostly equal but one guy is 6’9”, I think you almost have to give him the edge. It might be close, Usyk’s gonna be tricky. But I think Fury takes a decision in the end.

Fury seems to think his size is gonna be too much for Usyk as well…

“I’ve seen some stuff in the media like this is really personal between me and Oleksandr Usyk. This is not personal. It’s strictly business for both fighters. There’s a lot of stuff on the line but I don’t hate him, he don’t hate me. He’s a good husband, a good God fearing man so I respect him, as a man, as a fighter. He’s undisputed Cruiserweight champion, he’s unified Heavyweight champion so anyone would have to respect the man’s achievements.”

“I’ve got a tough challenge in front of me but I’m very confident in my ability and I’m very confident that I’ll beat the guy. But that’s not to say he’s shit just because he loses to me. Klitschko, Wilder, all these guys I beat, they’re all shit after I beat them. So please don’t say that Oleksandr Usyk’s shit after I beat him. Because he’s not. He’s a unified Heavyweight champion, undisputed Cruiserweight champion”.

“My personal opinion is, we have weight divisions for a reason. Me being an encyclopaedia on Boxing, I’ve studied every Heavyweight and Cruiserweight that’s ever lived. When the Cruiserweights step up to the big boys, usually they get found wanting. Even the greatest Cruiserweight that’s ever lived, Evander Holyfield, when he stepped up to the big boys in ‘Big Daddy’ Bowe and Lennox Lewis, he was found wanting. You can beat the average big ones but you can’t beat the elite big ones because size really matters. He’s gonna be found wanting when he fights me on May 18th.” - Tyson Fury

Even then though, while I agree that the size advantage probably edges it for him, even Fury himself has gone on record in the past saying the hardest fight of his career was Steve Cunningham in 2013. And he specifically pointed to the fact that because Cunningham was a slick and slippery Cruiserweight, that’s what made it difficult for him. We’ve seen Tyson can box rings around big sluggers and KO machines a bunch of times. He can make those guys look clumsy and useless. A boxer like Usyk is a different kind of task. We’ll see. 

Fury definitely seems more serious about this fight the closer it’s getting and between the way his physique is looking and the ways he’s talking, I’ve got no doubt that he’s put the work in. So if Usyk beats him, I don’t wanna hear any excuses after the fact. There always seems to be this built-in narrative with Fury where if he looks great everyone’s wanking him off but if he looks lacklustre it’s never because the other guy was good it’s because Fury wasn’t interested. I think he wins, and I think he’s actually talking sense for once in that quote above. But if he loses, you can bet there’ll be a bunch of excuses about how Usyk didn’t really beat him, he beat himself. Regardless, what a fucking fight!

Few bits and pieces…

‘Ring Of Fire’ official DAZN documentary;

‘The Road To Riyadh’ 20 minute TNT Sports doc;

Fury vs Usyk Face-Off;

Press conference;

Fury vs Usyk Roundtable (although I’m not sure I can stomach any more of Helwani talking Boxing); 

Promo;


OK I’m done. That’s it. Sorry for such a long winded post but I think we can start getting excited about this now.

7 MORE SLEEPS!! 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Same here. Im gonna be settling in early and watching it all Kovalev onwards.

Early prediction from me, may change closer to the day but im picking Usyk by pretty clear UD.

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One thing that’s a factor, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it mentioned, is that Fury tends to fight at the level of his opponent so I think that’s an important point to consider. 

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15 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

One thing that’s a factor, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it mentioned, is that Fury tends to fight at the level of his opponent so I think that’s an important point to consider. 

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1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

What a tit he is.

The headline from IFL I'd embarrassing. John Fury cut himself open by headbutting someone from Usyk's team, the guy is what he is, his son is in for his greatest challenge ever and he can't help whether positive or negative to try making it all about him, like usual, it's actually very sad to see a man act that way.

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15 minutes ago, Gooner said:

he can't help whether positive or negative to try making it all about him, like usual, it's actually very sad to see a man act that way.

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This will light a fire under Usyk for sure.

What a turnout. 

Fury will be 100% ready for this fight though. Will it be a cracker? Probably not. Usyk has everything you could possibly want in a fighter, the way he manipulates people into fighting in positions they aren't comfortable with is amazing, but can he overcome the physical advantages Tyson has? 

Boxing is a thinking man's sport and it's not about being built like he man and hurling barbells about but physical advantages, especially natural physical advantages, not a man who has pumped himself up to a certain weight can potentially cause all sorts of problems. 

Usyk hopefully comes out gunning for the cut and Tyson comes out trying to hone in on the body and we get a great fight, but I just can't see this one catching fire tbh, would love to be wrong though. Potentially lots of mauling and tying up from Tyson who won't want Usyk to get into any sort of rhythm.

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Oh yeah, you never know and maybe we’re wrong but my excitement for this isn’t that I’m expecting some crazy war or something. I’m not anticipating Balboa vs Drago type shit. It’s just that it’s the two best in the world finally colliding for all the marbles. It’s a special once in a generation type fight. I’d rather them fight and it not be some crazy slugfest than for it to be another one that got away. It needs to happen. 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah you're not wrong there, I'm very much looking forward to it, the buzz and anticipation on fight week of what might happen in the ring is something I always love, but whatever happens, its a significant history making fight isn't it.

And yes it would he a terrible shame and not a good look at all if this was another one that didn't come to pass. 

Edited by NeverYield
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