Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk: How Ukrainian transformed into heavyweight champion

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When negotiations for the Fury fight in April 2023 stalled, Usyk turned his attention to WBA mandatory challenger Dubois.

Dubois landed a body shot in the fifth round, sending Usyk to the canvas. The punch was declared a low blow.

“In my humble opinion, my guy delivered and landed the perfect blow on the beltline and he should be the one facing Tyson Fury,” Dubois’ trainer Don Charles tells BBC Sport.

Regardless of the legalities of the punch, Charles says it exposed an Usyk vulnerability.

“It was well documented prior to Daniel facing him that Usyk doesn’t like being hit to the body,” Charles says.

“He has an old injury here. There were moments in the second AJ fight where he turned around citing a low blow but it wasn’t.”

Usyk was dropped by body shots twice in the amateurs. On both occasions, Usyk rose to his feet and outpointed his opponent.

Former world champion Hannah Rankin believes Fury might be “too big” for Usyk.

“If he can target the body, it could be Usyk’s undoing,” she says.

Bellew, however, dismisses this supposed weakness as a “myth.”

“I’ve had my ribs broken on numerous occasions. It hurts and it’s not nice, but he’s not weaker than anyone else in the body,” Bellew says.

“Maybe he doesn’t carry as much protection around the midriff than someone like Tyson Fury, but he takes a body shot like everyone else.”

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