Promoter Eddie Hearn believes WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will fight off his back foot, and will box his way to victory over IBF/WBA/WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night.

 Fury’s Nervous Energy is a Good Omen

Hearn says he noticed that Fury is “nervous-looking,” and rather than viewing that as a negative, he’s putting a positive spin on it, saying it’s a good thing. Of course, that might be wishful thinking because he wants/needs Fury to win to keep alive the big British bash against his fighter AJ.

Hearn has been picking Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) by knockout, but now he sees him taking advantage of his weight loss to outbox Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) in their undisputed championship fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Many boxing fans would disagree with Hearn’s view, feeling that Fury is too slow, old, and one-dimensional for him to defeat a former amateur talent like Usyk, who is a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, former undisputed cruiserweight champion and has two victories over Anthony Joshua.

It’s pretty obvious Fury will fight the way he’s been in the last six years by grabbing Usyk anytime he gets in range, and hold onto him like a giant Sea Lamprey, looking to drain his life force.

Fury has done that with every opponent he’s faced since 2018, and he can’t change. Like many older fighters, Fury is set in his ways, fighting the same way, talking the same way, and wearing the same loud clothing.

A Mega-Fight on the Line

Hearn obviously needs Fury to win this fight to build a clash between him and Joshua into a monstrous mega-fight. If Fury loses on Saturday, the Joshua fight can still happen, but it won’t be as big of a match.

“It’s not just the case of ‘Just walk him down and beat him up.’ That’s how Usyk will make you pay,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to Charlie Parson’s YouTube site, talking about the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight on Saturday.

“Usyk will use that little square within the square to pivot out and pick shots. His work rate is really good. Fury is coming in light, which would suggest that he’s looking to move in this fight, and I think Fury will fight off the back foot against Usyk.”

Hearn’s commentary reeks of self-interest, and total wishful thinking with his cartoon vision of how Fury will perform. That’s not happening. Fury has no choice but to come forward, throw a single shot and then grab Usyk to start to lean on him.

The only variation that we’ll see is Fury holding & hitting. He does a lot of that. We’ll also likely see some rabbit punches and elbows from Fury to add a little more spice to the broth of his dirty tricks.

“I think it’ll be a very close fight. I think there will be a lot of swing rounds, where there might be some rounds where there’s a lot of faints and a lot of movements, but not that many punches thrown,” said Hearn.

Hearn’s Analysis: A Dash of Wishful Thinking

“That’s not really Usyk’s cup of tea. He likes to get in there and throw a lot of volume shots. How much does Fury have left? How fresh is he? He looks great. I think he’ll be a little bit nervous,” said Hearn.

Fury’s feet are too slow to keep  Usyk from knifing in range to land his shots. Fighting off the back foot won’t work for Fury because Usyk will close the distance rapidly on the 6’9″ behemoth to land.

“I thought he looked a little bit nervous last night, which I think is a really good thing for him because I don’t think he had those nerves against Ngannou, and in other fights, he hasn’t looked as good,” said Hearn.

“I think he’s at his best when he is nervous. If you look at his fights with Wilder. I think he would have been nervous in that fight and Klitschko, the same. Those are his best performances. Ty Mitchell said, ‘He’s in the best shape I’ve seen him,’ and I said, ‘If he is, he’ll win.’ That’s my pick. If Tyson Fury is still Tyson Fury and in the shape of his life, he’ll win this fight,” said Hearn.

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