Fury v Usyk: Gypsy King to cement his place in history with a stunning win

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk
Fury and Usyk go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all clash

Betfair's boxing writer, Frankie Monkhouse, looks at the pre-fight betting and the most relevant stats before making his predictions. He aims to mark the occasion with a profit and help cover the pay-per-view costs...

  • Tyson Fury brings a 34-0-1 professional record.

  • Oleksandr Usyk boasts a 21-0-0 CV.

  • Five versions of the world title are on the line in Riyadh

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk
Saturday, 22:30
Live on Sky Box Office

It's the fight we've all been waiting for, and on Saturday evening at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, boxing enthusiasts and casual followers will get something that's been missing for over 25 years - one true heavyweight champion.

All five versions of the world heavyweight title are on the line in this compelling winner-take-all bout scheduled for 12 rounds. Both gladiators enter the ring as champions, but only one will exit with the belts.

Will Fury add career win 35 to his stats, or can Usyk upset the odds to unify the division, just like he did at cruiserweight?

Fury starts as favourite

You may remember this bout was originally scheduled for February but had to be postponed after Fury suffered a cut in sparring. His father, John, now has one to match after an ugly confrontation with Team Usyk earlier this week. We hope both camps can remain professional and leave the fighting to the fighters. Unlike his outspoken father, Tyson has remained as cool, calm, and collected as ever during the build-up, promising to use his size and strength to crush his naturally smaller opponent.

The tale of the tape shows Fury enjoys a remarkable 6-inch height and seven-inch reach advantage over Usyk. He's also the heavier man and tipped the scales at 277lbs ahead of his previous outing against UFC champion Francis Ngannou. In comparison, Usyk weighed 221lbs before stopping London's Daniel Dubois in Poland last summer. Those advantages caused many boxing bettors and even the Betfair traders to price Fury as the early favourite, despite the cut and extended training camp.

Do you expect Tyson to win on Saturday evening and etch his name into the history books? He's already considered a pound-for-pound great of the game, and his achievements will outlast his boxing career. But Saturday gives Fury an opportunity to unify the division and join one of the most exclusive clubs in professional sports.

The Betfair Sportsbook offers a win for Fury at 10/111.91. There's more to get excited about in the method of victory betting, where a KO/TKO win for Fury is 10/34.33, or you can back the Englishman to win on points for the second bout in a row at 21/10.

Usyk is fast-approaching

Odds have been available on this bout for more than a year now as traders offer fight fans the chance to jump the queue and get in early to secure their share of the Fury vs. Usyk boxing betting value. Since the market arrived, Fury has been favourite in the sportsbook and exchange, but Usyk is quickly closing the gap as he attracts attention. We're getting as close to a 50/50 contest as fans could hope to find at this level.

Usyk has been nothing short of respectful and charming during his rise to the top of the heavyweight division. Since jumping from cruiserweight to the peak of professional boxing, the Ukranian has fought and beaten Chazz Witherspoon in round seven before bettering Derek Chisora and Anthony Joshua twice on points.

The 37-year-old, now based in California, was last seen in action stopping Dynamite Dubois by TKO but had to recover from a suspect looking low blow to get the job done. Oleksandr's recent stats show two of his three heavyweight title fights have gone the distance, out-pointing AJ twice before dropping Dubois. He also went the distance with Derek Chisora, and another marathon is expected in his return to action.

Fancy Usyk to upset the odds and win in Saudi Arabia to spoil the Team Fury party and become a living legend? You can back Usyk for the win at odds of 1/12.00 or seek value in the method of victory coupon. Usyk by KO/TKO is thought to be unlikely at 9/25.50, while another points verdict over a UK fighter is 8/52.60.

Fury vs Uysk prediction

I could spend all day highlighting the skills and abilities of both men and how they'll impact Saturday's showdown. Fury vs Usyk is a meeting of two supremely talented athletes who are here on merit and have the chance to become the champion's champion. The fight-winner market tells exactly how close this bout will be, and it's easy to make a strong case for both Tyson and Oleksandr. We're just lucky contract negotiations were able to bring these two giants under the spotlight before the watching world.

For my Fury vs Usyk prediction, I'm sticking hard to the Brit. He's more experienced, is a natural heavyweight, enjoys a remarkable size and reach advantage, boasts a higher knockout average, and can box. Fury won't sit in front of his opponent like Chisora or Joshua did when losing to Usyk. He'll fight at range and grab the smaller man on the inside, putting every bit of his weight down on Usyk in the clinches. I believe that will eventually sap the slight underdog's strength and make him a less mobile fighter.

When Usyk begins to struggle with the weight and strength of Fury, that's when the Gypsy King will advance and look to get his power punches off, just like he did against Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte, and Chisora recently. There are weight categories in boxing for a reason, and I expect to see a fit and sharp Tyson bully Usyk in the later rounds before scoring an emphatic knockout win.

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