Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Tyson Fury must start on front foot against Oleksandr Usyk – Carl Frampton

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Tyson Fury’s best route towards becoming undisputed world heavyweight champion is to take the fight to Oleksandr Usyk from the opening bell, according to Carl Frampton.

Fury and Usyk collide in Riyadh on Saturday night, with the winner becoming the first man to rule the division since Lennox Lewis in 2000 and the first to hold the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO titles simultaneously.

The ‘Gypsy King’ has a six-inch height advantage and an extra seven inches in reach and Frampton, Northern Ireland’s former two-weight world champion, believes he must impose himself on the Ukrainian.

Carl Frampton has told Tyson Fury to go on the front foot (Liam McBurney/PA)

“I think we’ll see a good Tyson Fury and an aggressive one. He will be on the front foot like in his second and third fights against Deontay Wilder,” Frampton told the PA news agency.

“You could question if Fury is able to get up on his toes like he used to. The size of the man, it’s got to be sore on ankles and knees if he does move a lot.

“Being more aggressive and flat-footed and moving forward is easier than being up on your toes and moving. It’s actually an easier way to fight, especially on your lungs.

“I’m liking the aggressive Fury and I think that’s the style we’ll see in this fight. If I’m Team Fury and I’m the coach, I’m telling him to be on the front foot from the start.

“A few years back, before (Fury’s trainer) Sugar Hill Steward got involved, you could almost say they had very similar styles because Fury moved around a lot more.

“But Usyk’s footwork is phenomenal. Normally you don’t say cruiser and heavyweights have good footwork, but he’s an incredible mover and is incredible at picking his shots.

“If Usyk allows Fury to get close to him, then size become a real issue for him. It’s just about how long he can keep him off for. I imagine he’ll win a lot of early rounds, but Tyson will get to him at some point.”

Oleksandr Usyk has appeared unruffled
Oleksandr Usyk has appeared unruffled (Nick Potts/PA)

A rematch clause means the unbeaten rivals will meet again this year, whatever the result at the Kingdom Arena.

Awaiting them is Anthony Joshua, Fury’s British rival who has rebuilt with four wins since being outpointed in successive fights by Usyk.

“Fury against Joshua would be absolutely massive. In my lifetime it would be the biggest all-British fight,” Frampton said.

“If Fury loses to Usyk, AJ has lost to Usyk too so it would still be a humongous fight.

“You can see improvements in Joshua since he lost to Usyk. His coach Ben Davison can make him a better fighter.

“I really rate Ben. He’s got Joshua fighting more aggressively and on the front foot. The old Joshua was more gung ho and happy to trade with people.

“People have suggested that since the Andy Ruiz fight maybe he’s a little bit gun shy, but if AJ is in the right frame of mind he’s a nightmare for anybody. If he hits you on the chin, then it will hurt.”

:: 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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