Henry Hardwicke offers his top tips for the undisputed heavyweight title showdown in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

There is a huge showdown the become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world when Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk clash at the Kingdom Arena in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night. 

Fury narrowly avoided a shock defeat to boxing novice Francis Ngannou at the same venue last year, but the Gypsy King remains unbeaten and the WBC champion is one of the biggest draws in the sport.

Usyk captured the WBA, WBO and IBF belts by beating Anthony Joshua in 2021 and the Ukrainian has since scored a repeat victory over AJ and stopped Daniel Dubios.

It’s a fascinating betting heat and the prices can barely split the two fighters. Fury is a 10/11 shot, Usyk is rated an even-money chance and the draw is available at 12/1.

Selections 

Oleksandr Usyk to beat Tyson Fury @ Evs 

Oleksandr Usyk to win by stoppage @ 5/1 

Unrivalled Usyk can capture undisputed crown 

It’s a battle of size against skill in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night and the movement, footwork and intelligence of Usyk can win the day. 

Of course, it’s unfair to simply dismiss Fury as a big heavyweight, and the Gypsy King has produced some excellent performances in his career, but it could be that the 35-year-old is a faded force. 

Fury isn’t an old fighter in terms of age, but he has plenty of miles on the clock and the Morecambe man certainly hasn’t led a dedicated and disciplined life in between fights. 

The Brit has often ballooned in weight when not in the heat of a training camp and the Gypsy King wasn’t seen in a ring of any shape for three years after beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. 

Fury’s two wins and one draw in a trilogy of bouts against Deontay Wilder are held up as the standout form in the heavyweight division, but the Bronze Bomber didn’t do much for that theory when being pummelled by Joseph Parker in December. 

Either way, the Morecambe man hasn’t looked the same fighter since the last of his clashes with Wilder in 2021. Three bouts against Dillian Whyte, Derek Chisora and Ngannou have been hugely underwhelming, and while it can be argued that Fury may have overlooked those limited opponents, you have to wonder if the Wilder trilogy has left a mark on the Gypsy King. 

Fury was sent to the canvas four times by the Bronze Bomber, in a trio of grueling bouts, and the 35-year-old should be more like a 100/1 chance if he performs as he did against Ngannou last time out. 

Usyk is a phenomenally skillful and intelligent boxer who is a former undisputed cruiserweight king, and while he gives size and weight advantages to his opponent on Saturday night, the Simferopol boxer has dealt with bigger punchers and more talented fighters in the past. 

Power and strength were no barriers to the 37-year-old in a pair of victories over Joshua and it’s worth remembering that Usyk came mighty close to stopping AJ in the first of their battles. 

Usyk can be crowned a two-weight undisputed champion on Saturday night and it may also pay to have a small punt on the Ukrainian to win by stoppage.

Visit Betway’s boxing betting page.



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