Former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko believes IBF/WBA/WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk’s technical ability will be enough for him to overcome the size of WBC champ Tyson Fury on Saturday night.

Even though the 6’9″ Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) will enjoy a six-inch height and a 39 pound weight advantage over the 6’3″ Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs), Klitschko is confident that the skills of Oleksandr will lead him to victory in their undisputed championship fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Fury has excellent technical skills as well, but not on the level of Usyk. The Gypsy King has aged more than Usyk, partly due to his eating and training habits over the years.

Fury has let himself go in between fights too many times in the last decade, and he’s not able to trim the weight off like he did earlier in his career. He had to really torture himself, needing two consecutive training camps just to get down to 262 lbs for Friday’s weigh-in, yet he still looked fat.

Size Doesn’t Matter, Technique Does

“I would say in boxing and in the heavyweight division size does matter. We know the difference between the two opponents is big, and we know that Fury is taller and has a longer reach. But there is no other way to fight a strong fighter like AJ, and Usyk has shown it twice,” said Wladimir Klitschko to DAZN Boxing.

Size does matter up to a point in the heavyweight division. It can help a fighter if they can box, have power, and possess a good chin. Fury can only box and can’t even do that anymore like he once did. There aren’t a lot of big heavyweights in the division that are any good, which suggests that size is overrated.

“Now with the technique, you can achieve whatever you want. It’s not about the power or the size,” said Wladimir. “It’s about technique in boxing, and I believe Oleksandr Usyk is one of the best technicians in modern boxing and I’m sure he’s going to do his job tomorrow night.”

It’s going to come down to whether Usyk can fight well enough to conclusively win the rounds because you have to figure out that if they’re anywhere close, the judges will give it to Fury.

He’s the more popular fighter of the two, and there’s a lot of money on the line for a fight between Fury and Anthony Joshua. It’s business. Even if the rounds aren’t close, Fury could still win the fight by a decision, and that’s the sad part.

We saw Fury lose his last fight in the eyes of many people, and the judges gave it to him. It’s the same venue. Why will the outcome be any different this time? The reality is that Usyk might need either a knockout or a three-knockdown performance for him to win a decision against the A-side Fury.

“Oleksandr Usyk called me the other night recently for my birthday and he said, ‘I wish that your dream comes true and you become the oldest heavyweight champion of the world.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute. Just don’t make me get out of my retirement. What are you doing? Thank you for the wishes, but you must win your next fight,” said Klitschko.

The 48-year-old Klitschko isn’t going to come out of retirement for a fight against Fury. Wladimir hasn’t fought in seven years since his loss to Anthony Joshua in 2017. If anyone had a chance against Fury, it was Vitali Klitschko, the brother of Wladimir, who is 52 years old.

Even at that age, Vitali would have a decent chance of beating Fury, who some believe has the body of a 50-year-old. Fury has aged horribly, looking more and more like his dad, John Fury by the day, and he’s clearly not long for the sport.

If Fury doesn’t get sent into retirement by Usyk on Saturday, Anthony Joshua will do the trick when they meet because I don’t see him lasting more than two or three rounds against AJ.

Fury’s Unpredictable Mental State

“Tyson Fury is unpredictable. You don’t know what kind of mental shape. We understand the physical shape, but the mental shape he’s going to be in. That’s something we’re going to see tomorrow night because there’s always something different and what kind of shape he’s going to be for this match,” said Wladimir about Fury.

Read the full article here