RIYADH – Amir Khan fears Tyson Fury has come in too light for his undisputed heavyweight title fight against Oleksandr Usyk. 

The most significant heavyweight fight for 25 years will be contested on Saturday evening at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between Fury when he is at his lightest for five years, and Usyk after the Ukrainian weighed in at a career-heaviest.

Fury’s 262lbs makes him the lightest he has been since he struggled to victory over Otto Wallin – and at the end of a week in which his former trainer Ben Davison questioned if he had previously lost weight too quickly, and Usyk’s cornerman Russ Anber wondered if his weight loss meant that his punch resistance would be undermined.

The WBC champion, 35, was more than a stone heavier when he outpointed Francis Ngannou in October, and the retired Khan – who as the considerably smaller and lighter fighter was stopped by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2016 – doubts whether he can bully his 37-year-old opponent like once might have been the case.

“You get pushed back,” he said of the nature of being the smaller fighter. “Every time you throw a big punch, it doesn’t even affect the [bigger] fighter – they’re just taking it as it comes. You just don’t feel the confidence – the confidence goes out the window. You’re hitting the guy with every shot you’ve got, but nothing’s affecting them. Mentally, it gets to you. 

“But I don’t think it is going to be the same – Usyk hit hard for a heavyweight. Look at all the heavyweight fights he’s had – he’s hurt them all. He has the power to hurt any heavyweight, but at the same time so does Tyson. It just depends on which Tyson turns up on the night and which Usyk turns up on the night. There’s a lot of pressure on them in this fight.

“Tyson has come in a bit too light. He should have come in like when he fought against [Deontay] Wilder. This fight was talked about a year ago – let’s hope they’ve not overtrained and that they’re at their peak. 

“The last fight, when I fought Kell Brook, I did not feel like I wanted to be there. I did too much training and did not want to be there and I was sick of boxing. I just hope neither of these fighters are gonna feel like that.”

Khan’s observations come with the awareness that Fury-Usyk had already been postponed twice. Usyk, incidentally, weighed in at 223.5lbs.

“It’s a massive fight,” said Khan, in Riyadh working on behalf of Wow Hydrate. “It’s a massive fight for the heavyweight division – for boxing – and I just lean towards Tyson in this fight. But as it’s getting closer to the fight I feel like Tyson might be a little bit too thin. He’s lost a lot of weight. 

“He seems very confident, but is he gonna have the strength? Usyk’s put on the weight – put on the power – and he might be the stronger fighter who’s gonna push back Fury. We know Fury can fight on his back foot, but we don’t know what to expect. Both are at the top. 

“I’m gonna stick with Fury to win the fight, definitely, but there could be a few scares. He might get caught – he’s not gonna feel comfortable in there. ‘Cause there’s gonna be times where Tyson’s gonna have to dig deep and he’s not going to be comfortable. This is a 50-50 fight, but I lean more towards Fury because he’s my friend. I can’t see Fury bullying this guy, because this guy doesn’t get bullied. Usyk’s not the type of fighter you bully.”

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