Monday, May 27, 2024

Tyson Fury cut not properly healed and an advantage for Oleksandr Usyk – rivals

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Tyson Fury’s eye cut that forced his fight against Oleksandr Usyk to be postponed until this weekend is a significant vulnerability, according to two of his British rivals.

Fury and Usyk meet in Riyadh on Saturday after the original February 17 date for their undisputed world heavyweight clash had to be abandoned when the British WBC champion was hurt in training.

The wound that delayed ‘Ring of Fire’ was the reopening of a gash above the right eye which Fury first suffered against Otto Wallin in 2019, needing 47 stitches.

Both David Haye and Derek Chisora doubt it will have healed properly since then, offering Usyk a frailty to exploit.

“That cut has opened up twice – when he first had it and then in sparring – so 100 per cent it’s a weak area,” Haye told the PA news agency.

“The skin around the eye is quite thin and once it’s damaged….particularly because it’s been only three months since it opened again.

“Expect the eye to open and for Tyson to have one eye. Having one eye against a southpaw isn’t ideal because you need your wits about you.

“It’s definitely an advantage for Usyk because Tyson will want to avoid being hit in that specific place and when you’re worried about a specific thing, you’re not thinking about what else you’ve got to do.

“It will definitely be in the back of his mind and it will have been in his mind in sparring, making sure shots don’t come that way.”

Chisora, the only man to have fought both Fury and Usyk, suspects the cut will have had a major impact on preparation for Saturday’s showdown.

“Tyson’s eye hasn’t healed properly. It looks good from the outside but from the inside it hasn’t healed properly,” Chisora said.

“Since he had that cut he hasn’t sparred, let’s be honest about it. In my view he hasn’t been sparring for one half of his training camp.”

* Watch Fury v Usyk, ‘Ring of Fire’ live from Riyadh on TNT Sports Box Office on Saturday 18 May. For more info visit: tntsports.co.uk/boxoffice

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